Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Assisting conception by being at the right place at the right time.
About Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing prepared sperm directly into the uterus during ovulation to achieve a pregnancy. It is often done in combination with medications that enhance ovulation and can increase the number of mature eggs that are released. IUI is a common fertility technique that has been available for over 50 years. It is a relatively simple procedure that is best applied to people in the following circumstances:
Patients with ovulatory disorders, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Couples with unexplained infertility
Couples where there is mild male factor infertility
Same-sex female couples using donor sperm
Single people who want to conceive with donor sperm
Couples with coital factor infertility (concerns with penetrative intercourse)
IUI is not an effective solution in certain situations:
- Fallopian tubes are blocked preventing sperm from meeting the egg
- You are trying to prevent transfer of a known genetic disorder
- Severe problems with sperm quality and/or quantity
Your IUI Journey Begins Here
Generally speaking, whether you are using a partner's sperm or donor sperm, the journey for IUI is similar. If you are using donor sperm, you will work with our Donor and Surrogacy team who will assist you with the selection and transport of donor sperm to Markham Fertility Centre. From start to finish, an IUI cycle will last approximately three weeks during which time you will visit the clinic three to four times, including the day of insemination. Read below for a typical journey through an IUI cycle.
You and your physician will review your medical history and your goals and expectations. They will also review all test results prior to discussing treatment options. If IUI is identified as the preferred approach, your doctor will prepare a treatment plan so that you can start your cycle whenever you are ready.
Meet your Care Team
Your dedicated care team will provide you with appropriate and timely instructions so that you feel well-informed and in control. You will complete consent forms and participate in an education session where you will learn how to administer medications. You will have several opportunities to ask questions. You can pick up any required medications for the treatment cycle at our specialized dispensary.
Report your 'Day 1' to Start your IUI Cycle
You will report your first day of full flow (Day 1) in our patient portal. This will alert your nursing team to prepare for your cycle start and they will communicate with you regarding next steps.
Ovarian follicle maturation (10-12 days)
If you are taking oral medication such as letrozole, you will take it daily for five days (typically cycle day 2 to 6). If you are doing injectable medications you will take them daily for the duration of the stimulation. It typically takes 10-12 days for the eggs in the ovary to mature and to be ready for ovulation. During this time you will have two to four in-person morning appointments at the clinic where we will monitor your hormones and measure ovarian follicles using an ultrasound exam. Your physician will closely monitor your stimulation to ensure the optimal uterine lining as well as the number and maturity of eggs.
Day of Insemination
Prepare to spend one to two hours at the clinic on the day of insemination. If using a partner's sperm, they will be asked to provide a semen sample the morning of the IUI. If using a donor sample, our lab will ensure it is ready for use. The semen is washed and prepared by our andrology team about two hours before the procedure. During the IUI, one of the MFC physicians will use a speculum to visualize the cervix. A small catheter is then inserted through the cervix and the sperm is placed near the top of the uterus.
Approximately two weeks after your IUI, we will ask you to come into the clinic to check your beta-hCG, or pregnancy hormone, level. If you have the test done before 11:30am on a weekday, we will have your results ready the same day.