What is IUI?
IUI involves a laboratory procedure to separate fast-moving sperm from more sluggish or non-moving sperm. It can be performed with your partner’s sperm or donor sperm (known as donor insemination).
Is IUI for me?
You may be offered IUI if:
- you are unable (or would find it very difficult) to have vaginal intercourse, for example because of a physical disability or psychosexual problem
- you have a condition that means you need specific help to conceive (for example, if you’re a man who is HIV positive and you have undergone sperm washing to reduce the risk of passing on the disease to your partner and potential child).
In the past IUI was offered if you had unexplained infertility, mild endometriosis or when a male partner had mild fertility problems. However, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) (an organisation which provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care) has advised that it should now not routinely be offered in these situations except for in exceptional circumstances.
Instead, if this applies to you, you are advised to try to conceive for a total of two years before IVF will be considered (this can include up to one year before your fertility investigations).