Stimulated intrauterine insemination (SIUI)

Stimulated intrauterine insemination (SIUI) is a fertility treatment that involves stimulating the ovaries to produce eggs and placing prepared sperm inside the uterus around the time of ovulation.

It may be an option for couples where there is cervical mucus hostility, a mild to moderate sperm problem or in some cases of unexplained infertility. However, it can only be undertaken where the sperm is suitable and the woman has at least one, preferably two, open fallopian tubes.

Injections (gonadotrophins) are used to stimulate egg production in the woman in the same way as ovulation induction.

The developing eggs are monitored using ultrasound scans and hormone (oestradiol) assessment. Once one or two mature follicles are identified, a further injection (hCG) is given to trigger ovulation.

The insemination is then performed 24 to 36 hours later. On the day of insemination, the husband/partner produces a semen sample; this is prepared by the embryologist to isolate the best sperm. The sperm are placed into the uterus by a doctor or nurse using a fine catheter inserted through the cervix.

In general SIUI is a painless procedure, which takes only a few minutes.