IUI, or artificial insemination, is a common fertility treatment used for a variety of infertility issues. It is considered a less invasive approach, than some other ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) procedures, because the critical steps necessary for conception must occur as they naturally would, without any medical assistance.
What Happens During IUI
- During the course of a gynecological exam, the physician will insert a thin, flexible catheter through the patient’s cervix into her uterus to deposit a sperm sample. This insertion is painless and the patient can resume her daily activities within minutes.
- The sperm inserted into the patient’s uterus has been washed in the laboratory to rid it of seminal fluid and to concentrate it.
- The sperm can come from the spouse (artificial insemination with spouse’s sperm – AIS) or from a donor (artificial insemination with donor sperm – AID).
Indications for IUI Using a Spouse’s Sperm
- Male infertility problems associated with a low sperm count or with sperm or morphology problems.
- Male infertility following a cancer treatment (when the patient has planned ahead and has had sperm frozen prior to his treatment).
- Repeated failures with ovarian stimulation.
- Unexplained infertility.
Indications for IUI Using a Donor’s Sperm
- Major sperm abnormalities, such as a total absence of sperm.
- Hereditary genetic diseases or infectious diseases that could be transmitted to the spouse.
- Isoimmunization or other problems.
- Male infertility following a cancer treatment.
The donated sperm comes from donors who have donated sperm to the Procrea Fertility Cryopreservation Center sperm bank, or to any other sperm bank inspected in accordance to Health Canada standards. Learn more about Procrea Fertility Cryopreservation’s overall selection requirements, including how donors are selected, in the Sperm Donation section of the site.
A session with a psychologist/psychiatrist who specializes in fertility issues is mandatory when using a donor for the artificial insemination process. This session will provide you with the opportunity to discuss common issues concerning this type of insemination, and to help you work through any concerns you may have prior to undergoing the procedure.
Procrea Fertility patients receive a Fertility Treatment Handbook when they embark upon their treatment journey. Complete details about the IUI procedure are included in the Handbook. You will also receive detailed information from your physician once you have determined together that IUI is the best course of treatment for you.