Insemination for Infertility

Topic Overview

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the flushing of specially washed sperm through a thin flexible tube (catheter) directly into the uterus.

Artificial insemination (AI) is the placement of sperm into a woman's cervix or vagina. The sperm then travel into the uterus and fallopian tubes, where they may fertilize an egg.

See a picture of the female reproductive system.

Insemination procedures:

  • Can be done with sperm from the male partner or a donor.
  • Are conducted during the most fertile part of a woman's cycle (ovulation).
  • Can be combined with superovulation (medicine or hormone treatment that promotes multiple egg production) to increase the chances of conception.
  • Do not require surgery.

Insemination procedures can improve your chances of conceiving a pregnancy, especially when combined with superovulation treatment.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised December 7, 2011

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