open menu
Review Us

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) FAQ’s

As fertility treatments can be a complex process, having answers to some intrauterine insemination (IUI) FAQs can help couples be more educated before meeting with their fertility specialist. Understanding what intrauterine insemination is and how it works is half the battle for a successful outcome. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is commonly known as artificial insemination. It is an assisted reproductive procedure where sperm is collected, washed, and forced into concentration to separate abnormal sperm from normal sperm. Next, the isolated, normal sperm is transferred into the partner’s uterus via catheter around the time of ovulation in hopes that the sperm will meet the egg. In some cases, prescribed fertility medications are used to encourage the ovaries to develop more than one mature egg in increase the chances of the sperm meeting an egg.

Questions to Ask before IUI

For Intrauterine Insemination in Kitchener-Waterloo, each partner will meet with a fertility specialist to have their IUI questions answered. A thorough consultation will address the physical and physiological factors required to conduct the procedure.

What Is Pre-IUI Workup?

A successful IUI depends on several factors that affect both partners. A medical exam, fertility tests, blood tests, and various ultrasounds and a semen analysis will be performed. A pre-IUI workshop consists of a physical exam as well as an ultrasound and blood tests. Before any fertility treatment is started, it is important to measure the hormone levels and ensure that the uterus is in a healthy state to carry a pregnancy full-term.

When Is the Best Time for IUI?

Timing is key with IUI fertility treatments. The fertility specialist will work with the woman to schedule the IUI procedure around her ovulation time. Most IUI procedures are done within the first or second day of ovulation.

When Is the Sperm Collection Done?

Collection of the sperm can be done at any time before the procedure. As sperm can contain components that cause a reaction that can interfere with the fertilization, the sperm is washed with a specialized solution. This separates the active sperm from contaminated sperm and any non-sperm components.

How Long Should You Abstain from Intercourse before the Sperm Collection?

While the female partner may need to be prescribed fertility medication before the IUI process begins, the male also has responsibilities to follow. Any form of ejaculation should be avoided at least two to three days before the sperm sample is collected.

What Is the Minimum Sperm Count Required for IUI?

In terms of sperm count for a successful IUI, the higher the count, the higher the chances for an effective fertilization. The minimum sperm count stands at one million with the ideal count between 5-10 million. There have been cases that have shown washed sperm of more than 20 million providing a higher success rate.

How Long Does the Washed Sperm Live?

Washed sperm normally has a lifespan of up to 72 hours, however, the potency of the sperm can begin to decline after the first 24 hours. The healthy sperm can continue beyond the fallopian tube, limiting the IUI window of 6-12 hours of the egg’s release. In fact, sperm lives five days within the fertile mucus which is why combining the IUI with natural intercourse could be beneficial.

What Are the Risks Involved?

While the IUI procedure itself is low risk, as with any surgical procedures, there are risks to be aware of. Some women may experience discomfort, cramping, and small amounts of spotting. More serious risks are seen with an infection or the development of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which occurs when a woman’s ovaries swell and leak fluid into the body. It should be noted the IUI procedure itself does not cause a risk for a multiple pregnancy. The chances for twins, triplets, or more babies may be increase, however, with the use of hormones or ferity medication. The multiples rate is between 23% to 30%.

Is IUI Painful?

The low risk of a IUI procedure may cause discomfort or mild cramping but rarely causes pain. Most women compare the experience to having a regular PAP test. As the cervix lining is disrupted with the procedure there can be some spotting, hence the mild discomfort.

What Is the Success Rate for IUI?

A successful fertilization depends on several factors that affect both partners. For the male partner, the parameters of the sperm must meet specific measurements. The sperm count can influence the process as male infertility can have a success rate of nearly 17%. The age of the female is also important for IUI success as those under 35 years of age have a higher success rate.

Questions to Ask after IUI 

After a IUI procedure, there are few restrictions to be concerned about. If there are no complications during or immediately after the procedure, life before IUI can resume.

How Long Will the Results Take?

As with all fertility treatments, time seems to pass slower than normal when it comes to waiting for results. With IUI, it can take two weeks before a positive pregnancy test may be reached. If the insemination is successful and the sperm has fertilized the egg, it takes roughly two weeks for the embryo to implant in the uterine lining.

How Long after the Procedure Does the Implantation Happen?

Implantation can be expected between 6-12 days after ovulation. Monitoring for symptoms begins one week following the IUI. Some women will experience symptoms while others may not. Neither confirms the success of the IUI.

How Long Should You Abstain from Intercourse after IUI?

Returning to normal activities does include having sexual intercourse any time after the IUI procedure. For cases where bleeding is occurring, it is recommended to wait at least 48 hours. Intercourse within a certain time frame of the IUI may help to increase the chances of a successful fertilization.

What Activities Should You Avoid after IUI?

The IUI fertility treatment may be a complex process but the procedure itself allows the woman to return to normal daily activities the same day. If cramping and spotting are experienced, rest can help. It is recommended that you not use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

ONE Fertility Kitchener Waterloo IUI Treatment

The fertility specialists at ONE Fertility Kitchener Waterloo have the expertise and state-of- the-art equipment for your IUI procedure. We work with both partners to create the best infertility treatment plan for your needs. Contact us today!


4271 King St East, Suite 200
Kitchener, ON
N2P 2X7

Working Hours

Monday-Friday: 7am-3pm
Saturday-Sunday: 8am-12pm

Contact Us

Phone: 519.650.0011
Fax: 519.650.0033