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The IUI Cycle

Doctors often recommend intrauterine insemination, also known as IUI for couples with unexplained infertility or mild male-factor infertility. Doctors generally suggest IUI for women or couples, except for those with:

  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Severe fallopian tube damage
  • Very poor egg quality
  • Menopause
  • Male partners who have severe infertility, such as total motile sperm count less than 5 million

Getting Ready for the IUI Cycle

Because the insemination is timed with ovulation, and eggs can only be fertilized for 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, timing is everything. To make sure sperm meet the egg at the right time, several steps have to be taken.

  • Prior to IUI, a woman is often screened for hormonal imbalances, infections, or structural problems. These conditions would make the IUI less likely to succeed.
  • Around day six of the woman’s cycle, her doctor will begin watching for signs of ovulation. Doctors often use transvaginal ultrasound to view the ovaries and egg growth. This is called ultrasound follicular monitoring, because the doctor is checking to make sure that mature follicles (which develop into eggs) have been produced. Doctors might also do urinary luteinizing hormone (LH) surge testing. LH is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain, and when its levels increase at midcycle, it triggers ovulation. IUI is usually scheduled for the morning after an LH surge, as ovulation will occur one to two days following the surge.
  • IUI is often done in conjunction with ovulation stimulation. In this case, at the beginning of the woman’s menstrual cycle, she will begin using medication to stimulate her body to develop multiple eggs. (This is sometimes called superovulation; generally, a woman only releases one egg a month.) Logically, having more eggs available seems to provide higher pregnancy rates. The drugs that are given to induce ovulation include clomiphene citrate (such as Clomid) and gonadotropins (such as hMG). Sometimes these drugs prevent the natural LH surge from occurring. If this is the case, the woman will receive an injection of human chorionic gonadrotropin (hCG) in the evening. The shot will trigger ovulation within 36 to 40 hours, so the IUI is usually scheduled approximately 36 hours after that.
  • Up until ovulation, the woman’s partner is kind of on the sidelines. In fact, men need to abstain from ejaculation for two to five days prior to ovulation. Once the woman ovulates, the man will produce a semen sample at home or in the doctors office by masturbation. (Donor sperm is used in some instances.)

Twice-a-Cycle IUI

Traditionally, IUI is performed once a menstrual cycle. However, some studies show much improved pregnancy rates when two inseminations are done in a cycle. Perhaps two inseminations double the chances for timing it right.

Here’s how a twice-a-cycle approach might work: A woman triggers ovulation with an hCG shot. The first IUI is done the next day. The second IUI is done the following day, around 36 hours after the hCG shot.


Comments (51)

Hi Divya,

I am so sorry to hear that you've been struggling to conceive. This question is best answered by your doctor, who knows your medical history. If you need a second opinion or would like to consult with a fertility specialist please feel free to email me directly at

Best of luck,


HI there, I have completed my frst round of IUI and a result of BFN. The doctor told use that this was due to no egg being released. I have read in various sites that many ppl have this problem and they are successful in the 2nd or 3rd round with a higher dosage. Can you please advise

Hi Gina,

It could be that you would benefit from using the hCG "trigger" shot. That would ensure the egg ovulates from the follicle. Higher dose fertility drugs will cause more follicles to develop to a bigger size.

Talk to your fertility doctor about it.


hi ,we were supposed to have iui tommorow but yesterday night i had nightfail(ejaculated) and i have low sperm count so advise me should we still go for iui tommorow or should i tell my doctor because she asked me to stay away for 10 days before iui.

Hi Sameer, It is best to be honest and upfront with your doctor. You should call the office and ask the nurse or doctor if it is best for you to continue with the IUI cycle. Good luck, Kim

I already have 3kids and my husband and I want to have more. We have been trying but nothing happens. I'm 31 and he's 37. Can we try IUI?

Hi Morisha, You may be a candidate for IUI, but you will have to consult a fertility doctor to be sure. Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or email and we will help you connect with a fertility doctor near you. Best, Kim

Hi, I am having doubt do we need to check LH level in blood on 2nd day of cycle before doing IUI? my last cycle LH level in blood is 7.57 miu/ml. One doctor said that LH level have to be less than 6 on 2nday of cycle. But another doctor said it is not necessary to check LH level. Which one is right? please help me.

Hi Anuradha, An LH surge occurs when ovulation is about to take place, so checking the starting level of LH will help the doctor to see the difference between your base LH and your surging LH. Hope that helps! Kim

Last 3 years ago I had fallopion tube pregnant and they remove left tube.Can I still doing IUI for me

Hi there,

With one tube, you probably can do IUI, but you might have better results with IVF. If you are looking for a fertility doctor, give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229).

Best of luck!

My husband and I have been TYC for a year and a half. Currently going through infertility treatments. Our case is an unexplained infertility. We are both fine, counts are good I did the hsg x-ray and tubes are open, I'm very regular and pretty much know when I'm going to ovulate because I have cramps I also use the OPK. I was on clomid 100mg, took the hcg shot also. My first iui was not successful. Just did my second iui but ovulated before scheduled hcg shot. What are my chances of getting pregnant this time?

Hello I have irregular cycles. I got pregnant around 15-16 and was told that it was a partial pregnancy dnc wasn't done and if I can remember no test were ran to even see what happened. After that my cycles started to come on and stay on for months at a time..a dr put me on bc to stop the bleeding. I was on and of of them over the years. I ended up having between 4-6 blood transfusions, tests, blood work, & ultrasounds. They found some assists inmy ovaries but that's all. Now at 27 I'm still irregular and no answers. I was told I wasn't ovulating. I don't come or off on my own.I've been put on all forms of bc .My husband & I are wanting to get pregnant but no luck..I feel worn out and torn there any suggestions that could solve one of my many problems??

Irregular period happens because of high prolactin level in your blood.I have had irregular period since 22 yrs old because of high prolactin level. Now I am 27 and have normal period because I have arranged my prolactin my pill DOSTINEX. May be you do have similar problem either?

I'm sorry you are going through all of this! If you are looking for a fertility doctor, we would be happy to match you with a reputable fertility doctor in your area. Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229).

I am 37 and I am divorced with three kids but one problem I have met this wonderful man and we want to have a baby together but my tubes are tied and I wanted to know if I was still qualified for the IUI Procedure even though my tubes are tied????

Unfortunately, in order to qualify for IUI, you would have to do a tubal reversal. Alternatively, you can do IVF which bypasses the fallopian tubes. Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) and we will help you connect with a doctor who specializes in fallopian tubes.

Hi i have always had irregular periods and had 3 miscarriages in the past all in 1st trimester. Have been trying for 6 months and now thinking of IUI or IVF. All tests came out normal. Can some1 suggest any help? Best Pret

Hi Pret,

Where are you located? We'd be happy to help you find a fertility doctor in your area who specializes in irregular cycles and miscarriage. Give us a call at 855-955-BABY (2229)!


Hi Danddi,

Unfortunately, if you are missing one tube and the other is clamped, you are not a candidate for IUI unless the clamp is removed. It sounds like the best option would be IVF, but you should talk to your doctor.


Hello,i have had two etopic pregnancies,one of my tubes is almost all tje way removed while the other one is still there but my doc put a clamp on it to prevent me from having a third etopic pregnancy while that tube is still in place am I a candaite for iui.plz any advice will help

I had 2 ectopic pregnancies and both tubes were removed. yesterday i went to see a gynaecologist and he told me that they are 2 ways of me getting pregnant ( through ivf and another process did really get a name...but its where semen is fertilized direct in my uterus ....i wonder if he was talking about iui ) anyone please help

Hey Prisca,

I'm so sorry you are going through this. IUI will not work if your tubes are removed as you will not be able to ovulate without your fallopian tubes. IVF is an option for you (egg and sperm fertilize in petri dish then transferred to your uterus) or IVF with ICSI where the sperm is injected into the egg and transferred back to your uterus. A procedure called GIFT would allow for transfer of egg and sperm back into fallopian tubes, so that is not what your doctor is suggesting. You should definitely call the doctor for clarification. If you are looking for a fertility doctor in your area, you can call us at 855-955-2229.

Good luck!

My boyfriend has been fixed for about 6 yr and has two kids by some one else and we want to have a child bit he would prefer to not get unfixed. I was wondering if they would be able to do the iui.and if your regular doctor does this or you have to find a specialist

Hi adalin,

Once a man has a vasectomy, he can not get a woman pregnant through IUI. You would have to see a fertility doctor for IVF, or he could have a reversal, but it sounds like that is not an option. If you are looking for a fertility doctor in your area, give us a call at 1-855-955-2229.

Good luck!


Hey nqhappy,

The difference between an oral ovulatory stimulant and an injectible one used in an intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycle is not only the method they are administered, but also the way your body processes them. When you take a fertility drug like Clomid orally, your body digests it as it would a steak dinner.

When you take the injection, typically Bravelle, Follistim or Gonal F, your body is able to process it without losing any of the properties of the hormone through digestion. When prescribed these medications, you will be given specific instructions on dosage, access to instructional videos, and the "pen" which contains the medication cartridge is pretty fool proof. You literally turn the dial to the amount of medication needed, insert the needle into your skin, and push a button. You can't mess up!

Are you currently working with a fertility doctor? Where are you located?


Hi, I'm trying to understand the difference between the Clomid and the injectible type IUI cycles. I've been doing a bunch of research on the net, and apart from this article, I can't seem to find much on the whole "inject yourself at home part". Do you really have to inject yourself with hormones at home?


Hello I am 31 years old and i had my tubes tied 7 years ago, and of course i regret of that, i wanna have another baby and i can't afford IVF plus i don't have any infertility issues i don't wanna take drugs first because i don't think i need them, second out of all the IVF process the drugs are the expensive part, i was thinking to go for the IUI but now i don't know if is i have any chances at all of if i do please let me know i am kind of desperate

I am 32 and have been TTC for the past 6 months after losing my baby at 24 weeks. I have been to see a fertility doctor, did the whole work up. Found out that my reserve levels are low and that i was Vitamin D deficent. She recommended that we try on our own for a little while. I did one round of clomid (100mg) 2 months ago but no luck. I also go to an acupuncturist weekly. We decided to try IUI next month with Clomid & HCG shot, but I wanted to know what are the chances that it will work the first round? I don't know how much more devistation I can take.

HI, I'm 37 years old and my husband is 40. We've been married for almost 3 years now, stopped taking BCP since we've been together, he does not have kids with his 2 previous marriages, and I was diagnosed with PCOS, my monthly period used to be regular when i was younger but about 4 - 5 years ago it's been really irregular, Im going on my 4th month without a period, I take a pregnancy test everytime I dont get my period for a couple of months, so I took one yesterday and not surprisingly, im not pregnant. Do we have a chance to get pregnant? We do not have alot of money and insurance will not cover infertility treatment, but we really want to have kids and we prefer not to adopt. Am I a good candidate for IUI? Or is IVF my only hope to get pregnant?

PCOS is actually one of the most treatable forms of infertility, and many women respond to medications and don't need IUI or IVF. You should definitely schedule a consultation with a fertility doctor - and bring your medical records with you. Use the Find a Clinic search on to find a doctor near you.

In addition, you can find support and information from other women with PCOS on

But please make that appointment with a fertility doctor asap.

Best of luck,

can i use the procedure iui with no tubes? i had 2 eptopic pregs and both tubes removed and the rest of me is in good health

I am 28 years old and i and DH have been ttc for 15 months now. On the 9th month of trying, we consulted an RE. He sent us for the HSG test and i was told that every thing was fine,but for cornual spasm in the right fallopian tube. Subsequently, i was placed on clomid 100mg (day 3-7) on 4 different cycles , i also received the hCG tirgger shots on CD 13, still i did not get pg. On the 14th month my RE suggested an IUI, now on clomid 150mg (CD 3-7). I received the hcg shot on CD12, had the IUI on CD 12 and 14. The IUI was really painful cos my cervix was hard to reach and he had to use the tenaculum. Regrettably, aunt flo for that month.
My RE has asked me to come for another IUI this month again. Firstly i was dissappointed that with all the pain i went through for the first IUIs, it didnt work.
Dunno if to Just go for an ivf since the success rates are higher. Pls advise!!!

First, I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time. It's really important that you see a fertility doctor, also known as a reproductive endocrinologist. A fertility doctor can help determine why you are not getting pregnant and set up a treatment plan for you. It's important to make this move from your OB - in order to get the best care when trying to get pregnant. We have a Find a Doctor search on every page of the website - just type in your zip code to find a doctor in your area. In addition, you might want to get some online support from others in a similar situation on

Let us know how things turn out.


I'm 28 and thinking about IUI but i dont know i have a 7yr old son from my very 1st pregnancy miscarried twins in 06 and a tubal in 09 i found out i have endometriosis and i get ovarian cyst my ob said more times then not those will disappear for a while if i were pregnant and ive been tring with my boyfriend but nothing and i just feel like its never going to happen again....any advice?

I am 35, and I was diagnosed with endometriosis approx 15 yrs ago. I've had 2 laproscopic procedures to remove the endometriosis at which they also opened both tubes. I've also had an exploratory surgery & one tube had closed off again. My doctor can not explain why my tubes keep closing off. I currently have one tube open & one closed. My husband & I have been trying to conceive for 9 yrs. His sperm count is excellent. I've gone through "SEVERAL" Clomid treatments ranging from 50-150 mg. I also completed a round of Repronex. The specialist (4 yrs ago) informed me that my next step would be IVF. My husband & I do not have that kind of money. My gynocologist has just suggested IUI, but informed me that the procedure would only increase my chances by approx 10-15%. I'm willing to try because the cost is more reasonable; however, from what I'm been reading, my chances may be even less due to my tubes closing off. I know an HSG is an option, but I don't understand why my doctor has not suggested that prior to doing the IUI. Would I be waisting my time & money with the IUI. I'm emotionally drained, so any advise would be greatly appreciated.


My husband n I been trying for one and a half year, had a dnc in 08 and been tested for sperm count and I have been tested for blockaged and ovulation and everything is fine. I ovulate regular cycle and everything is fine for both of us and its not working! My obgyn refers us to an infertility doc.but haven't gone to one because I am afraid it will be a lot worse. Any advise?

I know it can be scary to go to a fertility doctor - I've been there. But you should take the next step, and make an appointment. It's the best way to determine why you're not getting pregnant. The doctor will do what's known as a "fertility workup" to help pinpoint the issue and determine what treatment is best for you. Please make an appointment. And let us know how it turns out.

I also encourage you to connect with other women who are in the same position. The site is a very active online community for people with fertility issues.


How much does this procedure cost?
And can a women 28 years old who wants to have a baby by herself have this procedure done?
The reason is i have a girlfriend and weve been together for 7 years and we have a 2 yr old together from her cousins losing her do to drugs. Weve had her since she came home from the hospital.

We get a "cash" discount since insurance doesn't cover anything, so ours is $465 plus the Clomid ($22 at the lowest dosage) and ovulation predictor and pregnancy test. All told, about $500. Donor sperm will probably cost you somewhere upwards of $800 (all depending on whether you want Nobel prize winning sperm. LOL). Even if you know someone who will donate for you, there will be legal costs to ensure that you and your partner keep parental rights.

You clearly have a partner and are in a stable relationship (and already raising a child together). That is not at all the same as "by herself". I see no reason why you couldn't do an IUI with donor sperm. If a doctor refuses to treat you based on your sexuality, I'd sue for discrimination. :)

Where did you do ur iui

Hi gg, If you are looking for a fertility doctor near you who specializes in intrauterine insemination (IUI), please give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229). We can connect you with one of the trusted fertility doctors in our network. Best, Kim

The costs of IUI vary. IUI alone averages approximately $900. With ovulation induction, screenings and fertility drugs, the average cost ranges from $2,000 to $2,500. Many, but not all fertility doctors treat single women. I encourage you to check with fertility clinics in your area.


I don't have either of my tubes, my soon ta B husband has no children. We would like to have 1 together. Is this an option for us??


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