Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a relatively simple procedure that enables a patient’s attempt to conceive by directing sperm to the right place at the right time.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a common first step in treating infertility. The world class team at NYU Langone Fertility Center has over 20 years of experience performing IUIs. Our entire staff is here to support you throughout the treatment process should you and your doctor determine IUI is the most effective course of action to achieve your family-building goals.
What is Intrauterine Insemination?
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a medical procedure that involves placing sperm beyond the cervix into the uterus during ovulation. It is frequently performed in conjunction with ovulatory medications. This therapy is one of the least invasive fertility treatment options.
In the IUI process, a thin tube called a catheter is placed through the cervix, and a carefully prepared sperm sample is injected directly through the catheter into the uterus. An IUI increases the chances of becoming pregnant by injecting an optimal sperm sample directly into the uterus at a time when the patient is most fertile.
When is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) recommended?
Patients arriving at NYULFC are first evaluated by a reproductive endocrinologist who will formulate a customized treatment plan unique to each individual. IUI is often recommended as a first step to infertility treatment as it is less invasive and less expensive than In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). However, the key to successful fertility treatments is a personalized care plan based on each patient’s or couple’s medical history. Ultimately, you and your physician will decide if IUI is an appropriate treatment.
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
The Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) process at NYU Langone Fertility Center
Here is a step by step guide to the IUI process at NYULFC:
- Ideally, during the month prior to initiating an IUI treatment cycle, the patient will call one of our experienced IUI nurses to schedule a cycle. If the patient is using ovulatory medications (clomid or letrozole), the timeline for medication is discussed with the nurse at this time. The patient is then advised to call day 1 of menses to review and confirm timelines.
- The patient is then scheduled for regular monitoring (including blood and vaginal ultrasound scans) to observe follicle growth and maturation.
- If the patient is using ovulatory medications, when the patient’s ovarian follicles reach maturity, the patient will receive a trigger injection, inducing ovulation approximately 34-36 hours later. The day after the trigger injection, the IUI is performed at NYULFC.
- If the patient is not using ovulatory medications, the patient’s natural follicle growth will be observed throughout monitoring, and the IUI will be performed when the ovarian follicles are estimated to have reached maturity.
- Two weeks following the IUI, the patient is instructed to take an at home pregnancy test and to contact the office with results of the at home test to determine next steps.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between IVF and IUI?
With an IUI, sperm is injected directly into the uterus via a thin catheter. IVF involves retrieving eggs from the ovaries and combining them with sperm in a culture dish outside of the body. IUI is less expensive and 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 family based upon your medical history.
What does IUI feel like? Are there any side effects?
Generally, an IUI takes only a few minutes and patients experience very little pain – many patients compare the sensation to that of a pap smear. Some may experience mild discomfort when the catheter is inserted past the cervix, however this is temporary and should subside by the end of the procedure. Some patients experience mild spotting or cramping immediately following the procedure.
When is the best time for IUI?
The best time for an IUI is during ovulation when the patient is most fertile. Your hormone levels will be closely monitored by the NYULFC team in order to determine when the timing is optimal for you. If a patient is undergoing IUI in conjunction with medication, the procedure will be performed approximately 34-36 hours after the trigger injection.
How much does IUI cost? Is it covered by insurance?
IUI is covered by some insurances. Patients will be referred to a member of our Prior Authorization team to review coverage of each patient’s individual insurance. The out-of-pocket cost for an IUI without insurance coverage is $450 per cycle, not including medication. With medication, the cost of IUI cycle is approximately $1,500-$2,000. For more information about pricing, coverage, and financing options, visit our Navigating Fertility Financing page.
Choose NYU Langone Fertility Center for IUI in New York City
At NYU Langone Fertility Center, we are dedicated to providing our patients with exceptional clinical care to help them build their families. Our first job is to support you, so please bring all your questions to our team of world-class specialists for an introductory consultation.