Intrauterine insemination (IUI) , or artificial insemination as it is commonly known, involves the preparation of a partner or donor semen sample in the laboratory followed by its direct placement into the uterine cavity, so that it can in turn be brought by uterine contractions to the end of the Fallopian tube, where egg fertilization normally takes place.
Success rates are lower than with IVF, but treatment costs are lower and insurance coverage is more common than with IVF.
Therefore, in the absence of tubal blockage, it is an option that should be considered in cases of unexplained or mild male factor infertility, usually for up to three attempts. It is frequently offered by OB/GYN groups.In practice, after the semen sample has been processed by the lab, it is loaded into a syringe and taken to the procedure room. IUI’s are performed by a nurse. No anesthesia is required for the procedure as the placement of the catheter into the uterine cavity may cause only mild cramping, which generally goes away within 1-2 minutes. After the procedure, the patient is allowed to resume her normal daily activities.