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Insemination for Infertility

Topic Overview

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the flushing of specially washed sperm through a thin flexible tube (catheter) directly into the uterus.

Artificial insemination (AI) is the placement of sperm into a woman's cervix or vagina. The sperm then travel into the uterus and fallopian tubes, where they may fertilize an egg.

See a picture of the female reproductive system.

Insemination procedures:

  • Can be done with sperm from the male partner or a donor.
  • Are conducted during the most fertile part of a woman's cycle (ovulation).
  • Can be combined with superovulation (medicine or hormone treatment that promotes multiple egg production) to increase the chances of conception.
  • Do not require surgery.

Insemination procedures can improve your chances of conceiving a pregnancy, especially when combined with superovulation treatment.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised December 7, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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