Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York

What is Intrauterine Insemination?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a simple procedure that directs sperm to the right place in the uterus at the right time, enabling a patient’s attempt to conceive. This is a common first step in treating infertility. Should your physician determine IUI is an appropriate course of treatment to achieve your family building goals, your RSNY care team will support you throughout your treatment process.

Intrauterine Insemination involves placing sperm beyond the cervix into the uterus. It is timed with ovulation and is often performed in conjunction with ovulatory medications. This medical procedure is one of the least invasive options for fertility treatment. During the process, a thin tube called a catheter is placed through the cervix, and a prepared sperm sample is injected directly into the uterus through the catheter. An IUI increases the chances of achieving pregnancy by placing an optimal sperm sample directly into the uterus when the patient is most fertile.

When is Intrauterine Insemination Recommended?

Patients at RSNY are first examined by a reproductive endocrinologist who will develop a customized treatment plan unique to each patient and their specific needs. IUI is often recommended as a first step in the fertility journey as it is less invasive and more affordable than In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). However, the key to successfully treating infertility is a personalized care plan based on each patient’s medical history and family building goals. Ultimately, you and your doctor will determine if IUI is an appropriate part of your care plan.

IUI is often recommended for women or couples who:

  • Are unable to have appropriately timed intercourse due to travel distances, or in cases of sexual or ejaculatory dysfunction
  • Have unexplained infertility or mild male factor infertility
  • Suffer from Polycystic Ovulatory Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Are using donor sperm

IUI is typically not recommended for women or couples who:

  • Have a history of pelvic infections
  • Have severe disease of the fallopian tubes
  • Suffer from moderate to severe endometriosis
  • Have severe male factor infertility

Frequently Asked Questions about IUI

What is the difference between IUI and IVF?

With an IUI, sperm is injected into the uterus via a catheter. IVF involves retrieving eggs from the ovaries and combining them with sperm outside of the body. IUI is less invasive than IVF, but has a significantly lower success rate. You will work with your physician to determine which procedure is right for you and your fertility needs.

What does IUI feel like? Are there any side effects?

Typically an IUI only takes a few minutes and patients often compare the sensation to that of a pap smear. Some may experience mild discomfort but very little pain when the catheter is inserted past the cervix, however this is temporary and usually subsides by the end of the procedure. Some patients may experience mild spotting or cramping immediately following the procedure.

When is the best time for IUI?

IUI is timed during ovulation when the patient is most fertile. Your hormone levels will be closely monitored by the RSNY team in order to determine the optimal time for your. If a patient is undergoing a medicated IUI cycle, the procedure will be performed approximately 34-36 hours after the trigger injection.

Is IUI covered by insurance?

IUI is covered by some insurances. Patients will speak with a member of our billing team to review coverage of their individual insurance. For more information about pricing, coverage, and financing options, please visit our Navigating Fertility Financing page.

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