Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)


Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is the process of inserting a sample of washed/concentrated sperm (partner or donor) directly into the uterus.  IUI can be done with or without medication and involves accurately identifying the timing of ovulation to improve the chances of success.  In Ontario, IUI fertility treatment is partially funded by the government.

Am I a good candidate for IUI?

A physician can prescribe an IUI treatment only if the female patient has at least one open, healthy fallopian tube. Indications for IUI include, but are not limited to, individuals/couples who:

  • Have a diagnosis of unexplained infertility
  • Are using a sperm donor
  • Have a partner with low sperm count, motility or shape
  • Have sexual dysfunction issues

IUI Process

Preparing for your IUI

Before your insemination, you will undergo cycle monitoring for around 2-10 days to monitor the growth of your follicle(s) and identify the timing of ovulation. Based on your hormones, follicle size and endometrial lining thickness, the physician will determine the optimal time for insemination. If natural ovulation is not observed, the physician can also prescribe an injectable medication to induce ovulation. Insemination and in vitro treatment can also be discussed.

Semen Washing

Inseminations can be done with fresh or frozen sperm. If the sample is frozen, it is thawed on the morning of the scheduled insemination.

Semen washing is a procedure in the Andrology Lab in which the semen sample is placed in a tube and spun in a centrifuge. It is then placed in fluid that allows the separation and collection of the most active, healthy sperm to be used for insemination.

The Insemination

The entire procedure takes around 5-10 minutes to complete. It is quick and painless. 

The physician will insert a speculum to view the cervix. The prepared specimen is then inserted into the uterus via a soft, thin, flexible catheter.

Post Insemination

You can resume normal activities immediately following the insemination.

You will be asked to take supplemental progesterone (usually in the form of intravaginal suppositories) to support your natural progesterone production and prepare the endometrial lining for implantation.


Read our blog about the "Dos and Don'ts after IUI Procedures"