What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

During an IUI, sperm is placed inside your uterus allowing increased numbers of swimming sperm to have an opportunity to find the egg. In preparing for an IUI, the semen sample must first be washed and prepared prior to placement. Washing the semen sample allows for identification of the most actively swimming sperm and also removes prostaglandins, proteins in the semen that can cause violent uterine contractions if placed inside your uterus. Washing also eliminates substances that might lower the sperm quality and activates the sperm, thereby leading to improved sperm motility. Using a small flexible catheter the IUI itself is usually less uncomfortable than getting a Pap smear. It usually takes just a minute to perform. We ask our patients to come in with a full bladder so that the angle between the uterus and cervix is altered, which allows for easy passage of the catheter into the uterine cavity.

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