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Intrauterine Insemination, or IUI, helps many women get pregnant. IUI is effectively the modern version of what used to be called simply "artificial insemination". With IUI, washed sperm is placed directly into the uterus during ovulation, which can either occur naturally or be induced with fertility drugs like Clomid.

Intrauterine insemination may the the solution for you if you suffer from unexplained infertility, or your partner has mild problems with sperm count of sperm motility (movement). IUI is sometimes combined with fertility drugs to help stimulate the production of more than one egg. You may wait until you ovulate naturally, which is determined with a home ovulation test or through ultrasound at your fertility clinic, but it is likely that your healthcare team will propose the use of drugs that induce ovulation, which makes the Intrauterine Insemination process more predictable.

Your partner, or a sperm donor if you are using one, will then need to provide a sperm sample. Before the sperm is inserted directly into your uterus using a catheter, it will need to be prepared. The sperm washing procedure makes sure your uterus does not start cramping due to chemicals in sperm called prostaglandins, and also removes sperm of poor quality. Read more about this process in: Sperm washing for IUI why is it done?

Your chances of success with IUI depend on many factors, including your age, your fertility, and the use of fertility medications. Most couples or women who opt to try to conceive through IUI have three to six cycles before they either find themselves expecting a baby, or are advised to try other types of fertility treatments, most often IVF or IVF with ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection).

IUI is much cheaper than IVF, and also less invasive. It is the first step many who need to get pregnant with fertility treatment take, and is also a good option for lesbian couples or single mothers by choice, who are trying to get pregnant with the help of a sperm donor.

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