Intra uterine insemination (IUI)

IUI is the next step up from Clomiphene and Letrozole, and it can be used for quite a wide range of causes of infertility. As the name suggests, intra uterine insemination involves preparing sperm in the lab, then putting the best sperm directly into the uterus in a procedure that’s a bit like having a cervical smear.

In nature, only one in a hundred sperm that are ejaculated reach the uterus, so IUI works by giving sperm a head start in their journey to the egg.

IUI is usually combined with a medication like Clomiphene to increase the number of eggs ovulated from one to two or three. IUI cycles typically involve:

  • Some blood tests
  • 1-2 ultrasound scans
  • Injections, which people usually give themselves at home.

IUI is usually offered as a course of up to 4 cycles. Around 40–50% of women aged 37 and younger have a child within 4 cycles, and the main side effect is a 10-15% chance of twins. 

IUI, problems, risks and solutions

There aren't any tests to predict the right does of clomiphene for a particular woman having IUI treatments.  You can find out more about problems, risks and solutions here. 

If things do not go as well as expected, we will always discuss the options with you before any decision is made. 

Back up sperm

If you or your partner are concerned about producing a semen sample on the day of IUI or IVF treatment or that you might be away, we can usually freeze a back-up sample. You need to arrange this well in advance so we can see how well your sperm survive freezing and thawing. There is a separate charge for sperm freezing unless it is needed for medical reasons as part of a publicly funded treatment. If you are having IVF with frozen back-up sperm, we suggest you consider using ICSI to maximise the fertilisation rate of the eggs.

Sperm will only be frozen if you request this service and complete a consent form for sperm freezing.