Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) Treatment

At Ontario Fertility Network, we specialize in helping dreams come true for prospective families every day. Depending on the results of your initial fertility assessment, your personal medical team may recommend intrauterine insemination (IUI).

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment is used to increase a woman’s likelihood of becoming pregnant. This is done by inserting the healthiest sperm into the uterus during ovulation. From there, it’s the sperm’s job to swim into the fallopian tubes and fertilize the egg. Depending on a patient’s medical history, this may be paired with fertility drugs to increase the chance of pregnancy.

IUI treatment may be ideal for patients with:

  • Donor sperm
  • Issues with low sperm count or low sperm motility or low morphology
  • Cervical factors such as scar tissue, etc.
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Menstruation or ovulation challenges
  • Erectile and ejaculation dysfunction
  • Semen allergies or related factors

The IUI Treatment Process

Step 1: Cycle Monitoring

The woman is monitored via a series of blood tests and ultrasounds to determine when ovulation occurs. Fertility medication may also be used at this time to increase the number of eggs released — increasing the odds of conception.

Step 2: Preparation

To prepare for IUI treatment, the male produces a semen sample at home to bring into the clinic, or a vial of frozen donor sperm is thawed and prepared.

The semen sample is then prepared in a process referred to as “washing.” This separates the highly active, healthy sperm from the lower quality sperm, which can interfere with fertilization.

Step 3: IUI Procedure Day

The IUI procedure will occur approximately 12 hours following your ovulation trigger medication. You will be instructed on when to take this medication based on of your cycle monitoring blood and ultrasound results. Your personal medical team maps out a fertility plan for the timing of your procedure so you know what to expect throughout the process.

The procedure is similar to a pap smear. It entails laying on the exam table with the feet in stirrups. A speculum is then inserted into the vagina before the catheter, which is placed through the cervix into the uterus. The washed sperm is then inserted into the uterus using a thin, flexible tube called a catheter.

Step 4: Pregnancy Test

There may be light spotting for a few days after the procedure. A pregnancy test will be scheduled two weeks later. If pregnant, we will continue to monitor your HCG levels (the pregnancy hormone) through blood work. Taking a pregnancy test too early can result in a false positive or a false negative.

Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about IUI treatment and whether it’s the right fertility fit for you. We’re here to support you in bringing a new addition to your family.


What are the success rates of IUI treatment?

The success rates for IUI treatment vary by location, clinic, cause of infertility, and the age of the woman trying to conceive. This is why success rates can vary significantly, however many couples who are an appropriate fit for IUI have can experience success rates as high as the 15-20% per cycle.

How long does the IUI procedure take?
The IUI takes approximately 10 minutes and is performed in-clinic.
How many times do I need to have the IUI procedure done?

To increase the chance of pregnancy, it’s recommended to try IUI treatment consecutively for 3-6 months. If it doesn’t result in a pregnancy, it is up to the couple to decide if they want to keep trying or explore other fertility options, such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Is the IUI procedure uncomfortable?
No, this is a relatively painless procedure. There may be light cramping while inserting the catheter and spotting for a few days afterward, but generally, patients do not report much discomfort and do not require pain-relieving medication.
How do I know if I need fertility drugs?
Your doctor and personal medical team will discuss your fertility options with you to help you determine the best course of action to help you grow your family. Depending on the cause of infertility, fertility medications may not be necessary.
Are there any risks involved with IUI treatment?

The risks involved with IUI treatment include a very rare chance of infection, having a multiple pregnancy such as twins, triplets, etc., and spotting for a few days after the procedure.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t have IUI treatment?

The IUI procedure is not recommended for:

  • Bilateral blocked tubes
  • Azoospermia (no sperm in the semen)
  • Oligospermia (low sperm count). If the sperm count is less than 5 million, IUI may not work.
Is it expensive to have IUI treatment?

IUI costs vary based on if they are funded or unfunded IUI cycles. The sperm wash component of the cycle is never covered, and costs around $450 for one sperm wash in a funded cycle.

What should I do if IUI doesn’t work?

An expert fertility panel in Ontario recently recommended couples try between 3 and 6 cycles of IUI before moving on to IVF treatment. If it doesn’t result in a pregnancy after 3-6 cycles, it may be in the best interest of the couple to explore other fertility treatment options.


“I can’t recommend this clinic enough!! It’s been over a year since I had to go see them. I got my gorgeous daughter Maisy because of their help.

I recently went back to visit at the clinic and to introduce them to my daughter, and it was so great to see them. I would recommend this clinic over and over (and I have).

Thank you Lakeridge Fertility. I will always have a special place for all of you in my heart and I will remember your kindness, especially when I look at my little bundle of cuteness.”

Dallas Gilchrist