IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) is preformed by passing a very thin and flexible catheter through the cervix and injecting the washed sperm directly into the uterus. The entire process takes a short time, often requiring the insertion of a speculum and then the catheter. The process takes a few minutes.
When an egg is released, a semen sample is provided by the male partner or sperm donation. Donor sperm is supplied by a sperm bank. In the case of vaginal artificial insemination, semen is usually inserted into the vagina with a needle-free syringe. A longer tube, known as a tom cat, can be attached to the tip of the syringe to facilitate the sperm to settle deeper into the vagina. This procedure is done without anesthesia. The patient is advised to lie still for half an hour after insemination to prevent leakage and allow fertilization to occur. The female patient can continue her normal activities after the procedure.
A more effective method of artificial insemination is to introduce sperm directly into the female uterus IUI. This method is used only. Washed semen can be used and this is inserted by a catheter. A catheter is equipment specifically designed to perform artificial insemination. Semen is sometimes introduced twice in one treatment cycle. If the procedure is successful, the women will conceive a baby and move on. Pregnancy resulting from artificial insemination will not be different from pregnancy obtained by sexual intercourse.
Some patients are often undecided between IUI and IVF treatment. IUI is a simpler procedure and costs less than an IVF cycle. Often young couples explore the IUI option before trying IVF. However, the IUI procedure has a lower percentage in pregnancy than IVF.
With IVF, the egg and semen are fertilized outside of the uterus and then put back into a certain stage of the embryo, so your pregnancy rate is higher. It is recommended that couples seek IVF rather than try IUI with only around 20-25% chance of success with IVF which can be as high as 80-85%.