Intrauterine Insemmination (IUI) is a relatively straightforward method and most often the first step in fertility treatment.
In this procedure, a concentrated specimen of sperm processed in the lab is placed in the uterine cavity using a thin, plastic flexible catheter through the cervix.
Normally the woman is given tablets to stimulate the ovaries from day 2 of the menstrual cycle and sometimes injections from day 5 or day 7.
The growth of follicles is then monitored by transvaginal ultrasound until the desired growth of the dominant follicle is reached - usually around 18 - 20mm.
Then a single injection of HCG is given. The IUI procedure will be scheduled at 36 to 40 hours after the HCG injection.
On the day of IUI, the husband collects the sperm in the laboratory and the sperm sample is specially prepared in the andrology laboratory by "sperm washing". Different techniques are used including a simple swim up procedure or the Density Gradient procedure according to the quality of the semen sample produced on that particular day.
The process takes about a couple of hours.
The washed sperm is then introduced into the uterus through a catheter. The procedure is done in the clinic and takes 1-2 minutes. It is not painful and does not require anesthesia.
Depending on the quality of sperms and the follicular growth, the physician might decide for a single or double insemination. As the sperm and the egg remain viable in the female genital tract for many hours, insemination may be done within a window of several hours around the time of ovulation. After the IUI, daily supplemental progesterone is given, usually in the form of a vaginal suppository, to support implantation and early embryo growth.