For many, such an approach becomes unexpected, as well as a difficult decision to make. How does intrauterine insemination (IUI) happen, its stages, effectiveness, indications and the chances for a result is described in this article. In short, the method comprises of administering the selected and capacitated sperm into the uterus. Nowadays to do this the sperm of the husband or a donor sample is used. The technique is as similar to natural conception as it is possible. But the impact is higher. If during natural intercourse pregnancy occurs in 6-7% in one cycle, during the IUI you can expect to result in 10-15% of the attempts.


In IVF the results are clearly better, they reach 40 per cent or more. Plus, there are additional methods that increase the odds - they are PICSI, ICSI, IMSI, PGD, assisted hatching and others. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. They are used at individual indications. But the cost of IVF, medicamental and psychological stress on the body is much higher. The following information will help you make the choice between intrauterine insemination or IVF.

Advantages of Insemination before IVF:

  • There is no risk to the woman's body.
  • No need to hold a powerful hormonal stimulation. Although at the indications the stimulation may still be used, but a gentler one.
  • The relatively low cost of the procedure.

What is the difference between IUI and IVF?

To fully understand the advantages of intrauterine insemination compared with IVF, it is necessary to understand what is the difference.

Table. What is the difference between IUI and IVF?

Distinctions of intrauterine insemination
Distinctions of in vitro fertilization
What is transferred to the uterus?
Prepared sperm
Where does the fertilization happen?
Fertilization happens the natural way in the fallopian tube, as nature intended. After fertilization, the egg descends into the uterus and implants itself
In the embryology lab. Here we have the possible options of independent-fertilization in a petri dish (in a special environment) or the introduction of sperm into the egg by injection. After which it is cultivated for 2-6 days in an incubator.
The environment for fertilization and embryo development
The whole process of fertilization and embryo development takes place in the natural environment of the mother's body
For fertilization, cultivation apply adapted artificial environment. But you cannot call them complete, since the female organism environment nothing cannot replace
A DetIUIled examination of the male and female organisms with the use of medical tools in a laboratory. In case of a disease- Treatment (before the procedure)
Hormonal stimulation
IUI is carried in a natural cycle, as well as in a stimulated one
Most often hormonal stimulation - with the introduction of an artificial menopause, and without it. When transferring frozen embryos stimulation is not carried out. According to the indications the IVF is carried out according to the Japanese protocol - in a natural cycle
If the insemination is done with the use of donor sperm - freezing of the biological material is required. Insemination may be performed 6 months, after repeated examinations for hepatitis, HIV, and syphilis. This is IUImed at preventing the transmission of these infections and prevent the accidental meeting of the donor and the recipient. Husband's semen used is usually native (fresh). Sometimes it is allowed to use the frozen sperm of her husband, if the intrauterine insemination is performed twice in one cycle with a small gap (a day or two)
In the first attempt «fresh" embryosare used, while for the subsequent -cryopreserved embryos can be transferred embryos -so either frozen or fresh. Furthermore, in some cases, a combined transfer is performed (both fresh and frozen embryos) or a two-step transfer (embryos at different stages of development)
Based on the indications and contrIUIndications, intrauterine insemination is performed with the sperm of the spouse or of the donor
Donor sperm, the sperm of the husband, donor embryos and eggs may be used based on the indications. In addition, there are programs of surrogate motherhood (If a woman cannot carry a child herself for one reason or another)
Multiple Pregnancy
Low probability of multiple pregnancy
The probability of multiple pregnancy high
Success rates
The effectiveness is 10-15%
Efficiency is 40%

Intrauterine insemination by the sperm of the husband

Intrauterine insemination with the sperm of the husband - a method used to treat infertility, it has a maximum similarity with natural conception and a minimal interference in the process of fertilization.

Resorted to when:

  • subfebril sperm - Lowered qualitative and quantitative indicators;
  • retrograde ejaculation;
  • ejaculatory-sexual disorders;
  • hypospadias;
  • a small amount of ejaculate;
  • high viscosity of the seminal plasma (liquid);
  • the presence of sperm antibodies;
  • state of health after chemotherapy and vasectomy (surgery to efferent seminal ducts, after which the man with a preserved sexual function cannot conceive a child independently);
  • the use of frozen semen;
  • 4 or more unsuccessful attempts to intracervical insemination (injection of male gametes into the cervical canal).

From the woman's indications as follows:

  • infertility of unknown etiology (origin);
  • various diseases and disorders in the structure of the cervix - called cervical factor;
  • the presence of sperm antibodies;
  • vaginismus - the impossibility of vaginal penetration;
  • allergic reactions to sperm of her husband;
  • ovulatory dysfunction that is treatable.

The failure of intrauterine insemination with the husband’s sperm brings up the need for the doctor, and, consequently, the married couple to use more sophisticated techniques of assisted reproductive medicine.

Intrauterine insemination by donor biological material

After repeated attempts of low performance during intrauterine insemination with the sperm of the husband, in some cases, the doctors, before moving on to in vitro fertilization, recommend IUI with the use of donor sperm. This can be caused by different reasons. The doctor takes into account the state of health, the age of the woman, the previous attempts at insemination and may deem inexpedient to go for IVF until more simple and accessible methods have been tried. But to use a sperm donor coordination in the relations between the couple is required as well as their mutual consent. Without the consent of the husband intrauterine insemination cannot be carried out. The donor may be a relative or an acquIUIntance. If a couple does not have such possibility, frozen donor sperm from the cryobank may be used. In this case, the donor is an anonymous person.