Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Uses, Risks and Success Rate - Dr Rita Bakshi

Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Uses, Risks and Success Rate

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a type of artificial insemination. The method is used for treating infertility resulting from defective sperms. The sperms are washed to remove immotile spermatozoa, prostaglandins, infectious agents or antigens. Washing the sperms makes them more concentrated. They can be now deposited directly in the uterus around the time when the ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized. In the older procedures of artificial insemination, the sperms are placed the sperm in the vagina; it was comparatively easier to do, though did not stand as successful as the current method. IUI can be coordinated with the normal ovarian cycle or with medication for improving fertility.


Theoretically, a relatively higher number of motile sperms are allowed to reach the oocyte by IUI. Washing the sperms helps to remove the unwanted cells. The motile sperms are separated. This process helps in concentrating the spermatozoa in a small volume of culture media. Thereafter, the concentrated spermatozoa is deposited through a transcervical catheter into the uterus.

Uses of Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

A couple\’s ability to conceive a child depends on many different factors. IUI is the best technique used for couples who have:

  • Infertility due to Endometriosis:Certain medications are used to obtain a good quality egg along with performing IUI as an approach.
  • Use of Donor Sperm: Sperm specimens obtained from medically-authorised labs are used for the IUI procedure.
  • Unexplained Infertility:In case of unexplained infertility IUI is helpful along with ovulation-inducing medications.
  • Infertility due to Male Partner:If the male partner\’s semen analysis shows reduced sperm concentration, weak sperm motility, or even abnormalities in sperm size and shape, IUI helps by separating highly motile, normal sperm from those of lower quality.
  • Infertility due to Cervical Mucus:If the cervical mucus is too thick, it resists the sperm\’s movement. Employing IUI, the sperm is directly deposited into the uterus which increases the number of sperm availability for fertilizing the egg.

Risks Involved in IUI

Several risks are involved in this procedure

  • There is minor risk of development of an infection from the procedure.
  • Positioning of the catheter in the uterus may cause slight vaginal bleeding, though it doesn\’t affect pregnancy.
  • IUI has been reported to cause multiple pregnancy — twins, triplets or more.
  • IUI can be time-consuming, involving many trips to the fertility clinic.
  • Although IUI is less invasive than IVF, the procedure may be uncomfortable due to the difficulty in inserting the catheter. Cramps may occurin lower abdomen.
  • Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS) may occur when ovaries respond too well to the fertility drugs. It can result in a bloated and uncomfortable tummy or make you feel sick.

Success Rate of IUI

IUI is quitean effective way of treating infertility in a couple and bringing the joy of parenthood. Despite involving several risks and the immense caution required to perform the procedure, the success rates of IUI stand around 10-15% per cycle. In some cases the success rates have been reported to be 20%, depending upon the age of the female, cause of infertility, and use of fertility drugs.


IUI is an effective tool for infertility is an effective tool, no matter how many risks are involved. The benefits outweigh any risk that is involved in the procedure. Infertility treatment in Delhi has been made possible by some renowned fertility clinics. Risaa IVF is one such renowned fertility clinic in Delhi that has made it possible for any couple to plan a pregnancy through IUI. For a successful IUI, the fallopian tubes must be open and healthy. If any tubal damage is suspected or if pregnancy doesn’t occur after an IUI trail, a tubal patency test is recommended by the doctor.

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