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How is intrauterine insemination (IUI) used to treat female infertility?

By Michelle Lorraine Embleton B.Sc. Ph.D. (biochemist).
Last Update: 05/31/2024

Michelle Emblenton, a biochemist at inviTRA, talks about how artificial insemination can help women with fertility problems:

In intrauterine insemination a previously prepared sperm sample is placed directly into the woman's uterus through the cervix via a catheter. The woman needs to be ovulating for the process to be successful and she may have undergone a prior ovarian stimulation with a hormonal treatment. This will increase the possibilities of pregnancy. It is used when there is a mild case of infertility and the woman is under the age of 35 to 38 years old. In order for artificial insemination or intrauterine insemination to be successful, the fallopian tubes need to be in full working order, as the fallopian tubes are where fertilization takes place. It is a technique used in cases of mild endometriosis, in polycystic ovarian syndrome, and also when they present abnormalities or alterations in the cervix. It's also used in cases of unexplained fertility. This technique is also used for women who want to become pregnant without a partner. And it is also useful for same-sex female couples who want to have a baby. Obviously, in these cases, a sperm donor will be required. And the cost. In the United States you can expect to pay between $600 and $3,000 for an intrauterine insemination, depending on the clinic you have chosen. In the United Kingdom, this treatment is available on the NHS if you meet certain eligibility criteria.

 Michelle Lorraine Embleton
Michelle Lorraine Embleton
B.Sc. Ph.D.
Biochemist
PhD in Biochemistry, University of Bristol, UK, specialising in DNA : protein intereactions. BSc honours degree in Molecular Biology, Univerisity of Bristol. Translation and editing of scientific and medical literature.
Biochemist. PhD in Biochemistry, University of Bristol, UK, specialising in DNA : protein intereactions. BSc honours degree in Molecular Biology, Univerisity of Bristol. Translation and editing of scientific and medical literature.