Artificial insemination & Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
What is intrauterine insemination (IUI)?
Artificial insemination or intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves inserting the male partner’s (or donor’s) prepared sperm sample through cervix (the neck of the uterus) and into the cavity of the uterus, immediately before ovulation.
Who is IUI suitable for?
IUI is often recommended in the setting of short-term unexplained infertility or sexual difficulties as an initial treatment before moving on to more complex fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
It can also be used when semen has been frozen prior to a male partner's chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment.
IUI step by step process
This treatment can be performed a few different ways.
- During a natural cycle, which involves no medication and is done alongside the woman’s natural menstrual cycle.
- Or with additional hormonal stimulation (ovulation induction). This option uses medication to stimulate the ovaries in order to cause or regulate ovulation. Medication can include either Letrozole or FSH (follicle stimulating hormones) via self-administered injections.
Your fertility specialist will discuss the decision for the best technique with you and your partner, if applicable.
The woman’s cycle is monitored to determine the day of ovulation – this is often referred to as ‘cycle tracking’. Once the follicle is mature, ovulation is triggered by an injection of synthetic human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
The sperm sample is analysed and washed to concentrate the number of mobile sperm. This prepared sperm is then inserted directly into the uterine cavity using a very thin catheter.
The process is similar to a pap smear with regard to minimal discomfort, and there is no need to take time off of work afterwards.
IUI using donor sperm
Donor sperm treatment may involve artificial insemination (Intrauterine insemination). Donor sperm may be recommended for the most serious abnormalities of sperm production or where there is a high risk of passing on a genetic disease. Artificial insemination using donor sperm is also an option for single women or same-sex couples.
Donor sperm is provided by either Melbourne IVF (clinic-recruited), or by a man who agrees to provide sperm for use by a particular woman or couple (recipient-recruited). Learn more about using donor sperm.
What does IUI treatment cost?
Artificial insemination, or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), is generally considered as a low cost treatment option. An Indicative costs of IUI treatment at Melbourne IVF is $2,163 as listed on treatment costs page alternatively, please call 1800 111 483 to request for more information.
If your fertility specialist recommends artificial insemination, in most cases it is reasonable to complete three to six treatment cycles depending on your particular circumstances before moving onto other treatments such as IVF.
If you haven't become pregnant and have been trying to conceive for twelve months or more without success (or six months if you are over 36) we recommend a fertility assessment with a Melbourne IVF fertility specialist.