Helping Two Halves Make a Whole

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) in Tennessee

Sometimes, sperm need an extra push to reach an egg. Intrauterine insemination increases the chances of pregnancy for a variety of infertility cases and factors.

Why IUI is Used

Our endocrinologists may recommend IUI for a variety of reasons. Those include 1) women with a sperm allergy, endometriosis, ovulation issues or excess cervical mucus, 2) men who have issues with ejaculation, 3) same-sex couples who are interested in traditional surrogacy and 4) women who seek a sperm donor.

  • The Benefits of IUI

    Infertility is tricky, and everyone’s body is different. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or are interested in traditional surrogacy, IUI is often the first procedure a doctor may recommend due to its low-tech, low-risk benefits:

    • Minimally invasive procedure
    • Usually done within 15 to 20 minutes
    • Can better time the ovulation cycle
    • Ability to choose sperm from a donor or male partner
    • Increases the chance of pregnancy
    • May help patients with mild factor or unexplained fertility
    • No anesthesia required

  • What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

    Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a form of artificial insemination in which a concentrated amount of healthy sperm is placed directly into the uterus. Doctors may do it around a patient’s natural time of ovulation or recommend fertility medication, such as a trigger shot, to prompt the release of an egg.

    Doctors use IUI for many reasons, but ultimately the procedure shortens the distance sperm have to travel to reach an egg. The thought is if you increase the number of sperm and shorten the distance between the sperm and egg, then it will increase the odds (success rate) of getting pregnant.

How IUI Works

IUI can be an effective treatment option for a variety of infertility cases and is most commonly recommended before trying more advanced treatments, such as IVF. Here is what a typical IUI procedure looks like at Tennessee Fertility Institute.

  • 1

    Determine Time of Ovulation

    If you and your doctor determine that IUI is the right procedure for your family, the next steps will be to determine whether to do the procedure around the time of the patient’s natural ovulation cycle or take fertility medication to stimulate the release of an egg.

  • 2

    Collect the Semen

    Your partner or a sperm donor will then provide a sample of their sperm. This can be done in the office or at home, depending on your preference.

  • 3

    Wash and Concentrate the Sample

    Once we receive the sample, our team will then “wash” or clean the sperm. This not only separates it from the seminal fluid, which can have reactions inside the uterus, but it also concentrates the sperm count and only includes the healthy ones.

  • 4


    The doctor will work with the patient, whether that’s you or a third-part like a surrogate, to time the procedure exactly when ovulation occurs. This is why it’s so important to schedule the procedure around the natural time of ovulation or when the medication can trigger the release of an egg.

  • 5

    Place the Semen inside the Uterus

    Once the patient ovulates, the doctor will use a thin catheter to place the sample past the cervix and into the uterus. After, the doctor will ask them to lie on their back for a few minutes, but then can resume daily activities.

IUI Might Be Worth a Shot

Fertility is personal—your care should be, too. If you’re interested in exploring your options, request a consultation with one of our fertility specialists. Let’s make a baby, together. 

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