We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Procedure for IUI?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An IUI, or intrauterine insemination, is a fertility treatment for patients who have difficulty becoming pregnant. The procedure for IUI typically begins with fertility drugs and ultrasounds to track ovulation. A male partner provides a sperm sample, or the couple may choose to use donated sperm. The sperm sample is then processed in a laboratory and injected into the woman's uterus to encourage pregnancy. An IUI is low-risk and considered safe; however, it does increase the possibility of multiple pregnancies, such as twins or triplets.

Often, a woman will take fertility drugs to begin the procedure for IUI. These drugs, taken at the beginning of a menstrual cycle, stimulate the ovaries to increase the chances of pregnancy. Timing the IUI procedure is essential to ensure the sperm will be able to fertilize the egg. Ovulation will be monitored through ultrasound imaging tests or with an at-home ovulation detection kit to determine the best time to inject the sperm. Less commonly, the doctor may induce ovulation with medications.

The next step in a procedure for IUI is to process the sperm. If donor sperm is to be used, it will be thawed. Otherwise, the male partner will provide the sperm sample. It will be sent to a laboratory, where it will undergo a process that removes the seminal fluid. Sperm that is not as likely to result in a pregnancy will be separated from the healthy sperm.

When the concentrated sperm sample is ready, the doctor will perform the procedure for IUI. This procedure is simple and should not be painful; however, some women may experience some discomfort. The patient can expect the same preparation that is used for a gynecological examination. First, she will be asked to lie on an exam table with her feet in stirrups. A speculum is used to hold her vagina open.

The doctor will then insert a thin catheter, which contains the sperm sample, into the uterus. Once the sperm sample is released, the doctor can remove the instruments. This simple IUI procedure typically takes about 20 minutes. Patients require no recovery time and they may resume normal activities immediately. A sanitary napkin should be used for the rest of the day, as patients may notice temporary light spotting.

After the procedure for IUI is complete, the patient may monitor herself for signs of pregnancy. It is recommended that an at-home pregnancy test kit be used no sooner than two weeks following the fertility treatment. If the test is positive, patients may return to their doctor's office for a more accurate pregnancy test. This fertility treatment may be repeated several times if it is not successful, or the patient may decide to try other methods, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or in vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.