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intrauterine insemination (iui)

Is IUI Painful?

  • 4.8 (2 Votes)

IUI (intra uterine procedure) is a fertility procedure, which involves the insertion of sperms into the uterus to fertilize the eggs. IUI treatments are not painful as all. But it may lead to mild abdominal cramps or discomfort during the procedure. If IUI is medicine assisted, then one may experience side effects of fertility drugs such as nausea or vomiting.

IUI procedure is one of the commonly utilized procedures for conceiving a baby with the help of fertility treatments. IUI (intra uterine insemination) treatment procedure involves a series of steps, which need to be followed to achieve the desired results. IUI treatment is not painful, but sometimes it can be discomforting in terms of abdominal cramps and nausea. One may also experience side effects of fertility drugs taken during the procedure. In this article, you will understand about various aspects of IUI treatment along with the pain associated with it.

Who requires IUI treatment?

IUI treatment is recommended for a couple in cases of the following conditions:

  • Low sperm count or sperm motility (movement) of the male partner is the prime reason for undergoing IUI treatment.
  • Presence of cervical mucus complications in women also hinders the natural smooth motility of sperms to the eggs for fertilization.
  • IUI treatment is also preferred in cases when the couples have a low budget for fertility treatments.
  • Also, when a couple experiences unexplained infertility, then IUI is always the first treatment recommended.

What are the steps of IUI treatment?

1- Usage of medications

Consumption of medications is quite common in case of IUI procedures. One of the most common medications utilized is Clomid. It is responsible for releasing the pituitary gland hormones. These hormones thereby lead to the release of Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones help in the maturation of egg along with the release of egg.

Usage of medications

hCG (Human chorionic Gonadotropin) is also injected into the patient to induce ovulation in female partners for a successful pregnancy. Taking medicines does not cause pain, but it may have some side effects including nausea, dizziness and vision.

2- Monitoring of ovulation

Ovulation monitoring is essential in every fertility treatment. This can be done easily with the help of home ovulation predictor kits. The urine of the woman is tested for the presence or increase of luteinizing hormone. If an ovulation kit indicates positive, then ovulation will take place in next 2-3 days. This helps in planning the sperm injection process into the uterus. Monitoring is done with the help of ultrasounds and blood tests but this process is not painful.

3- Preparing sperm for injecting into the female partner

Semen of the male partner consists of sperm. The sperm is separated from the semen with the help of “washing” step in the laboratory. After sperm washing procedure, sperms are ready to be used for fertilization procedure. It is made sure that only sperms are injected for successful fertilization and formation of an embryo. If semen gets injected unknowingly, then it can cause infections to the female partner.

4- Main performing step (Injecting Sperms into Uterus)

The gynecologist asks the patient to lie down on the table in lithotomy position (knees flexed and thighs apart). Then, the doctor takes the sperm sample and injects it into uterus of the female. This is done with the help of an instrument known as speculum. This main step takes around 5-10 minutes. The instrument is inserted through the vagina, passing through the cervix into the uterus for fertilizing the egg. This step is not painful but it can cause discomfort to some women.

5- Pregnancy test

After 2 weeks of injecting sperms into the uterus, a pregnancy test is done. This helps in determining whether the procedure is successful or not. In case of negative results, the pregnancy test is performed again.

Pregnancy test

Still, if the pregnancy does not occur, the gynecologist will recommend you to undergo the IUI procedure again. You can discuss regarding this with your concerned gynecologist.

Also, don’t miss to read an article on the things to do after IUI to come up with the best results.

Pain associated with IUI treatment

While opting for medical treatments, most of the women think regarding pain and discomfort associated with the respective treatment. It is always recommended that before opting or starting with a medical treatment, you must discuss it with your doctor regarding the negative consequences of a procedure. Only then, you should proceed with the respective medical treatment.

Views of patients on IUI treatment pain

In general, the IUI treatment is pain-free, but every patient has different experiences. Some of the patients feel real pain at the time of procedure. On the other hand, some patients just feel discomfort during and after IUI treatment.

Experiences of pain concerning IUI treatment vary to a great extent. Most of the patients who undergo IUI treatment for the first time feel extreme discomfort when the catheter carrying the sperms is passed through the vagina and cervix. Many individuals did not have any kind of pain in the first IUI procedure. In the next ones, they felt pain in their cervix.The insertion of catheter or tube into the cervix causes disturbance to several women. At times, it might feel a minor one but at other times, it can beunbearable for some women.

Some patients also felt hot flashes due to the consumption of clomid medicine. There are certain patients who felt that the speculum inserted into the vagina and cervix caused varied pain in the respective parts of the reproductive system. When the doctor injects the injections during IUI treatment, pinching pain is caused to the women. If this does not subside, you need to talk to your doctor.

There are patients who found ways to distract themselves with the disturbing itching and pain at the time of IUI treatment. Some kept their jaws loose and some women kept moving their toes to distract themselves from the ongoing IUI process. Many patients found their methods to combat the stress and pain linked with the different steps of IUI treatment.

Individuals who had undergone multiple IUI procedures revealed that their pain and discomfort varied depending upon the experience of infertility specialist or gynecologist. Therefore, most of them preferred to opt for highly experienced infertility specialist to avoid excessive pain or discomfort during the treatment.

Opinions of doctors on pain during and after IUI treatment

Most doctors provide the opinion that IUI treatment does not involve pain during the procedure. There is a certain amount of discomfort, which is quite common with the woman undergoing IUI treatment. This discomfort is often compared to the pain faced at the time of Pap smear test (microscopic examination of cells taken from uterine cervix) to find out the abnormal cells in the cervix. Cramping and light bleeding are quite common in patients who have recently undergone IUI treatment. This is usually felt after 24-48 hours of the completion of IUI procedure. Some women can also suffer from uterine and nearby infections. The pain in IUI treatment and infections are correlated to each other. Infection after the completion of procedure leads to discomfort and irritation to the patients. These negative effects can persist till the respective infection is treated well. So, it is highly recommended to report to your doctor if you feel some kind of discomfort and irritation. Hyper ovulation syndrome is quite commonly seen in the patients who undergo IUI treatment. This is not a direct side effect of IUI treatment. But it is a negative consequence of the medications, which are consumed before the commencement of IUI procedure.

So, we can say that every treatment has its pros and cons. But, obviously the fact is that, IUI has helped many childless couples to conceive. Apart from IUI, you can also learn about other fertility treatments such as IVF and ICSI. If you are facing any fertility issues, then call at +917899912611 for assistance.

Dr. Srilatha Gorthi

About The Author

Laparoscopic Surgeon, Gynecologic Surgeon Dr. Srilatha Gorthi

Dr. Srilatha Gorthi is an infertility specialist and laparoscopy surgeon located in Hyderabad. Her area of expertise lies in the field of Gynae diseases and conditions, and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). She provides a number of services that comprise of In vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), ICSI, TESA, MESA, Gynae Hysteroscopy, Laparoscopy, treatment of Ovarian Cysts, Endometriosis, PCOS, Fibroids, Polyps and so on. Dr. Srilatha Gorthi practices at The Birthplace Hospital, Revive Multi Specialty Clinics and Fertility Centre, and The Birthplace Clinic and has a rich experience of more than 18 years. Dr. Gorthi has won 9 Gold Medals in MBBS.She is a reputed member of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), European society of Gynaecological Endoscopy and British Medical Association, UK, and British Fertility Society. You can get her information at


  1. How to increase sperm count - causes and treatments sperm count, Elawoman - 2017
  2. What is sperm motility? sperm motility, Elawoman - 2017
  3. About unexplained infertility and its treatment unexplained infertility, Elawoman - 2017
  4. How to track ovulation with irregular period cycle ovulation, Elawoman - 2017
  5. First symptoms of pregnancy you need to understand nausea, Elawoman - 2017
  6. Sign and symptoms of ovulation Ovulation monitoring, Elawoman - 2017
  7. What are the functions of uterus? uterus, Elawoman - 2017
  8. Dos and don'ts after iui to ensure successful pregnancy things to do after IUI, Elawoman - 2017
  9. Is iui the best fertility treatment for you IUI procedure, Elawoman - 2017
  10. Drugs, monitoring, procedure for iui IUI treatment, Elawoman - 2017



Heena Khan

I don't think it was a painful IUI that I had. If we talk about pain then even hysteroscopy causes pain. So it's just ok to tolerate little pain in something as important as this.

June 5, 2018, 11:43 a.m. 5.0


Pranav Kumar

I was worried and tensed that whether IUI treatment will be painful. But thankfully, the doctor was much experienced and it turned out to be a good experience for me.

May 24, 2018, 3:14 p.m. 4.5

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