Intra Uterine insemination (IUI ) or Sperm Wash

Intra-uterine insemination (IUI) is a medical intervention that controls when the egg and sperm meet. The process is similar to cycle monitoring where several routine ultrasounds and blood tests are performed to track the growth of the egg. When the egg is mature, the woman is injected with a trigger medication which causes the egg to be released. The following day, the prepared sperm sample is injected into the uterus. The procedure is similar to a pap test and is minimally invasive.

Where do we get sperm from?

PARTNER SPERM: fresh or frozen

A fresh ejaculate must be provided to the lab for preparation on the day of the IUI. It will be filtered and washed to remove any abnormal or slow sperm cells. The sample is concentrated to contain the fastest sperm and is then injected into the uterus using a special catheter.


Men may choose to freeze a sperm sample that can later be used in treatment. This may be due to several reasons such as travel at the time of the procedure or as backup in cases where the man finds it difficult to produce a sample. While frozen samples can be used for IUI, we recommend that you use a fresh sample whenever possible.



There are a variety of reasons that donor sperm may be considered for use in treatment. Examples may include same sex partners, transgender couples, no sperm found in the male’s semen, presence of a known congenital disease on the male’s side of the family, etc. There are specific regulations that must be followed in order to use donor sperm. If you are considering using donor sperm for your treatment, more details will be given during your orientation session at the clinic.


If an ejaculate specimen does not have (enough) sperm cells, a male patient may consider undergoing PESA or TESA procedures. These procedures are mainly used to collect sperm from the testes when there may be an obstruction or a problem with sperm production. For these procedures, fluid is aspirated directly from the testes and inspected for the presence of sperm.


In some cases, a piece of tissue may be extracted and biopsied if sperm cannot be found in the aspirated fluid. These procedures are typically done by urologists. If sperm cells are found during the above procedures, they may be used or frozen for ICSI.