Intra-Uterine Insemination

Intra uterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment in which better quality sperm are separated from sperms that are not ideal (sluggish, not moving or abnormally shaped). It then injected directly the sperm into the womb at or around the time of ovulation to improve the chance of achieving a pregnancy.
The sperm may be that of your partner or donor sperm depending upon your circumstances. This treatment is, however, not for everyone.

Who is this for 

1- Couples who are unable to have vaginal intercourse (e.g. Physical disability, Pain, Psychological reasons)

2- People who need donor sperm such as single women, same-sex couples, partner with poor sperm quality or hereditary disorders.

3- People who need to use washed sperm (e.g. HIV POSITIVE men)

4- Unexplained infertility & mild male factor infertility- Though NICE GUIDELINEs recommend IVF in these situations, sometimes it might be appropriate to go for IUI. Compared to IVF, 

IUI can be: 

• Less expensive than IVF 

• Less invasive than IVF 

• More natural than IVF 

• Lower success rate than IVF 

• Slightly higher risk of multiple pregnancy 

What steps are needed for IUI? 

You need an initial consultation with a fertility specialist to assess your suitability for the treatment. During the consultation your detailed medical, gynaecological and fertility history will be assessed. 

You need to undergo tubal patency test and hormone blood tests for checking your ovulation and infection screening. Your fallopian tubes must be open for the IUI TREATMENT and there are three ways of assessing tubal patency. 

– Ultrasound-based HYCOSY test. This can be done in the IVF UNIT itself. 

– Xray based hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test

Laparoscopy and dye test- keyhole surgical procedure

Depending on your history and your wishes, we can arrange you to have one of these tests. Blood Test for ovulation- if you are not ovulating spontaneously, tablets need to be given in the beginning of treatment cycle to induce ovulation. Depending upon your ovulation, IUI can be done in your natural cycle, or you might need fertility drugs. In the treatment cycle, you will have 2-3 vaginal ultrasound scans to assess the number and size of growing follicles.
When you are ready for IUI, a hormone injection will be given to help the egg mature and is also possible just to check for ovulation with urinary kits. Giving the injection will help us to time the IUI more accurately.

If there are multiple follicles (more than two) the cycle might need to be cancelled to avoid the risk of multiple pregnancy. This is likely to occur with fertility drugs and the dose of the medication might need to be adjusted. On the day of IUI, the sperm is washed and prepared so that the best quality sperm is injected into the uterus.
The insemination process is simple and is relatively pain free. You will have a speculum examination and through a very fine catheter introduced into the cervix, the prepared sperm is injected into the womb.

You will be given a date to do the pregnancy test.

Through out the treatment process, you will be supported by our excellent nursing team who will guide you through the cycle and will be able to answer all your queries.
There is counselling service available especially for those using donor sperm treatment.

Treatment Funding

NHS-funded treatment

The  integrated care board (ICB), where your GP is based, is responsible for your NHS healthcare costs. Each ICB receives limited funds from central government, which means that it has to set its own priorities. Some ICBs do fund IVF, but usually to a limited extent. Others do not fund IVF at all. ICBs set their own criteria for treatment to which the assisted conception unit at St Helier Hospital must adhere. If you live within the Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth area and are registered with a GP, you may be eligible for NHS-funded treatment, provided you meet their eligibility criteria.

Self-funded treatment

You may wish to fund your own treatment if your ICB does not fund IVF, or if you do not wish to wait for funding, or if you are not eligible for NHS funding.

We describe the treatment as ‘self-funded’ rather than ‘private’ because the treatment is exactly the same as for patients funded by the NHS.

The charges we make are non-profit-making: they are only to cover treatment cost. All income from self-funded patients is invested back into the NHS IVF programme.

Get In Touch

To make an appointment with one of our doctors:


Beginnings Assisted Conception Unit Block E, St Helier Hospital NHS Trust Wrythe Lane Carshalton Surrey, London


Patient pathway coordinator:
+44 208 296 3861
Reception: +44 208 296 3860
Fertility nurses:
+44 20 8296 3862

Working Hours

Mon-Fri: 8:00 -16:00
Saturday: 9:00 - 12:00 (Limited Embryology)

Beginnings Assisted Conception Unit
Block E, St Helier Hospital NHS Trust
Wrythe Lane

Quick links