What is IUI?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a procedure in which sperm are washed and placed directly inside the woman’s uterus through a catheter, which may increase her chances of becoming pregnant. IUI is used to treat infertility related to a variety of causes, as long as at least one patent fallopian tube is present. It is also often used as an intermediate level and cost-effective intervention prior to proceeding to in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Some common diagnoses in patients who undergo IUI include:
- Ejaculatory dysfunction (including sexual dysfunction and impotence)
- Severe vaginismus
- Cervical factor infertility
- Male factor infertility
- Unexplained infertility
- Stage I or II endometriosis
IUI is useful in couples with severe sexual dysfunction. Its advantages in cervical factor and male factor infertility are that sperm bypass potentially hostile cervical factors and the number of sperm that gain access to the uterine cavity is enhanced.