IUI (Intrauterine insemination)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves placing carefully prepared sperm directly into the uterus, close to the time an egg is released (ovulation). IUI is one of the simplest and least invasive fertility treatments. The purpose of the IUI is to bring the egg or the ovum and the partners sperms in close contact with each other and then hope that one of the millions of sperms will fertilise the egg and the embryo thus formed will implant in the uterus.

Who may benefit from IUI?
  1. women who have at least one normal healthy Fallopian tube, to allow the sperm and ovulated egg to meet and for fertilisation to occur
  2. women with cervical mucus problems which may prevent sperm from entering the uterus
  3. couples with ‘unexplained infertility’
  4. single women having treatment with donor sperm
  5. women in same sex couples having treatment with donor sperm
  6. Women with unexplained infertility

For whom is IUI treatment not suitable?
  • women with damaged or blocked Fallopian tubes
  • women with hydrosalpinx. These are grossly dilated and non functional fallopian tubes.
  • men with very poor quality sperm

What is ’step by step’ IUI treatment?

  • the majority of IUIs are carried out during a woman’s natural cycle, where only one egg is usually produced, so reducing the risk of a multiple pregnancy
  • women who do not ovulate regularly are given either fertility tablets (clomiphene) or injections (hMG/FSH), or a combination of both, to stimulate their ovaries to produce more than one egg
  • ultrasound scans are used to predict the day on which the egg is released. A hormone injection, human chorionic gonadatrophin (hCG) may be given to initiate ovulation or to boost the natural LH surge. This injection allows even more accurate timing of ovulation and increases the probability of pregnancy
  • the sperm sample - (partner sperm or donor sperm) is prepared. Preparation of sperm selects only the highly motile (active) sperm
  • partner sperm needs to be produced at the IVF center two hours before insemination. Alternatively it may be possible for a sample to be frozen and stored in advance and stored for future use
  • a fine plastic catheter is passed through the cervix, via which the sperm are placed into the uterus
  • a pregnancy test may be done 17 days after IUI insemination to confirm if the treatment has been successful

How long does IUI treatment take?

IUI treatment takes an average of ten days to fourteen days from the beginning of the treatment cycle to the actual intrauterine insemination (IUI).

What are the Success Rates of IUI treatment?

Success rates of IUI vary with the ovulation medicines used, from 10 to 13% for oral fertility drugs to 18% for fertility injections.

After IUI procdure, what?

If three good IUI’s have been done and there is still no pregnancy, the patient should not waste further time or resources but proceed for IVF treatment.

What to expect in an IUI pregnancy?

An IUI pregnancy is no different from a normal pregnancy and all the usual do’s and don’ts, investigations and tests as that for a normal pregnancy are to be followed.

Letters to Dr. Richa Katiyar regarding Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) treatment.


I am suffering from mild vericosael and i am a diabetic and having currently 20 mill. sperm count. since last 5 year of marriage we are trying for a baby. My wife had once conceived but because of spoting dr, suggested it to abort as dr said that it was a weak pregnancy
then dr done lapro after one year and till now it is 2 years .
please suggest the right treatment.


Hello Mr. Praveen,

Sorry to learn that you and your wife are having difficulty in conceiving. I feel that you will definitely benefit from IUI (intra uterine insemination). This will increase the chances of your wife getting pregnant manifold. Hope her fallopian tubes are patent.

Feel free to contact me for further queries.

Best regards,

Dr Richa Katiyar

Dear Doc,

I have a 3 yrs old daughter and i am trying for another child from last many years. I have gone through many fertility treatments in last one year, with 3 failed iui. At this time i am mentally , physically and financially exhausted. i want some expert guidance for the next step. Please let me know if there is counselor to help online or over the phone, before i meet someone at your center in person. Thanks




My husband is having low sperm motility, so I want to know which treatment is good IUI or IVF and also the total cost for both the treatment.


Dear Pinki,

Sorry to learn that you are having difficulty in getting pregnant.

If the only problem is low sperm motility, then we can do IUI for you, but if there is any other problem too (like advanced age for you, blocked tubes, poor ovarian reserve ) etc, the it is better to do do IVF- ICSI for you.


Dr. Richa