Intrauterine insemination (IUI), sometimes referred to as “artificial insemination,” is the process of placing sperm in a woman’s uterus. This procedure delivers sperm past the vagina and cervix, both harsh environments for sperm, and into the uterus near the fallopian tubes, thereby raising the chances sperm will fertilize a woman’s egg.
IUI is often (but not always) supplemented with medications that can help induce ovulation or grow multiple eggs, namely letrozole, clomid, or gonadotropins.
IUI is able to enhance results for specific patient types, but does little address those with poor egg supply (Diminished Ovarian Reserve), severely reduced sperm count (oligospermia or azoospermia), or an unfriendly uterine environment (where a pregnancy needs to take place).
In the continuum of fertility care, IUI represents a “middle ground,” being more successful and costly than simply taking medication, while being inferior to and cheaper than IVF.