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Intra-uterine insemination (IUI)

Intra-uterine insemination with sperm from a partner or a donor

Insemination is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) technique which involves placing laboratory-prepared sperm inside the uterus. The goal is to encourage and optimise the encounter between the oocyte(s) and the spermatozoa.
The pre-requisites for prescribing cycles of ovarian stimulation with intra-uterine insemination (IUI) are:

  • tubal permeability (at least one fallopian tube confirmed as open, by means of a salpingography or a laparoscopy with a blue dye test)
  • a sufficient quantity of mobile sperm after preparation. Thus, a migration survival test (MST), involving a semen analysis to test for infertility makes it possible to predict the feasibility of IUI.


It is a simple, minimally invasive ART technique.
Ovarian stimulation usually begins in the beginning of the menstrual cycle, with subcutaneous injections in order to obtain from 1 to 3 mature follicles. Regular monitoring by means of hormonal blood tests and pelvic ultrasound scans is essential.
When at least one follicle is mature (having reached 16-22 mm in diameter), one last injection (of hCG) is administered to trigger ovulation. Intrauterine sperm insemination is carried out two days later (36 to 40 hours after the onset of ovulation).
On the day of the insemination, the man must collect his semen after 2-3 days of abstinence. The semen is prepared in the laboratory on the same day in order to select the sperms that are the most likely to fertilise the ovum/ova.
Insemination is a simple procedure. After positioning a speculum, the doctor inserts a thin, flexible catheter into the uterus. The procedure is painless and does not require anesthesia.
The previously prepared and selected sperms are then placed at the entrance to the uterine cavity. The procedure is followed by a few minutes’ rest.
In order to optimise the chances of pregnancy, the couple is strongly advised to have sexual intercourse on the same evening and over the following days, so as to increase the numbers of potentially fertilizing sperm and to encourage the uterine contractions which enhance the ascent of spermatozoa in order to reach the oocyte(s).
Progesterone treatment providing support for the luteal phase commences on the same evening of the IUI, until the pregnancy test is performed 14 days later.
If the result is negative, a new insemination cycle can be scheduled immediately.
IUI pregnancy rates are around 10-20%, increasing significantly over the first 3 insemination cycles, with declining benefits if 3 more cycles are performed.
From an administrative point of view, the costs of 6 IUI cycles are covered 100%.
The couple must submit:

  • serology test results (HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis) that are negative within a period of 3 months before the first attempt (and then within the previous year for subsequent attempts)
  • a negative sperm culture within the previous year
  • consent for intrauterine insemination and a declaration that neither member of the couple have stayed in an area where the Zika virus is endemic.


Public consultations (sector 1, without exceeding fees): contact the appointment office of Antoine Béclère Hospital: 01 41 07 95 95


Private consultations (sector 2, with overruns): contact Ms. Céline Delattre at or celine.delattre@aphp.fr