What is it?

Also known as IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination), IUI is typically the first step in the Assisted Reproductive Technology journey and involves placing washed sperm from the partner or donor into the uterus of the woman. In some instances, artificial insemination may also be done in conjunction with ovulation stimulation.

Who is it for?

Artificial insemination can be used in the following circumstances:

Why IUI?

IUI is often the first assisted reproductive technology (ART) approach and is less invasive and expensive than IVF. With IUI, the procedure helps provide sperm with a “headstart” by placing it nearer to the egg. The sperm, however, will still need to reach and fertilise the egg on its own.

What is involved with artificial insemination:

  1. The woman’s cycle will need to be monitored with hormone tests and an ultrasound to determine the time of ovulation.
  2. Once the ovulation period is determined, one of our friendly Nurse Coordinators will contact you to arrange an appointment for insemination.
  3. Just before the insemination procedure, the male partner will provide a sperm sample which is prepared with a special ‘washing’ technique and loaded into a catheter that is ready for placement into the uterus. Frozen or donated sperm may also be used.
  4. During the procedure, a speculum will first be inserted into the vagina to visualise the cervix. Then, a soft and thin catheter containing the sperm is placed through the cervix into the uterus.
  5. The procedure itself is relatively quick and painless and similar to a pap smear. Once the procedure is complete, you will typically rest for approximately 15 minutes before resuming your daily activities.
  6. Two weeks later, a blood test will be performed to see if pregnancy has occurred. The waiting period can be a nerve-wrecking time and our professional counsellors are here to assist.

What are the risks?

IUI carries minor risk, although there may be an increased chance of twin pregnancy if ovulation stimulation is used.

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