IUI and IVF Side Effects

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a popular infertility treatment that can be used to help couples conceive. While this procedure is relatively safe, there are some potential side effects to consider before committing to it.

In process of natural pregnancy, sperm begin to go through the vagina, cervix, and uterus and get to the fallopian tubes for meeting an egg. On the opposite end of the spectrum, in the IUI process, in a well-equipped lab, gathered sperms will be washed and concentrated by an expert embryologist; then by utilizing a thin tube called a catheter the prepared sperms will be placed into the uterus of the woman, a compulsive meeting!

For having a successful IUI on the first try, the best sperm with high mobility and quality will gather, approximately 5 million sperm! Well, so far everything is fine and harmless, so where is the conflict?

The start of IUI side effects scenario is from IUI medication for women, where the intended mother must be ready for receiving injectable and oral medications (like the first step of IVF treatment) and this phase of IUI is the source of the following questions and considerations:

  • IUI medication side effects
  • IUI side effects on mother and baby
  • What are the side effects after IUI?
  • How long do IUI side effects last?
  • What are the symptoms of IUI success?
  • Is IUI successful on the first try?
  • IUI babies v normal babies

In this post on TebMedTourism, we will explore the real side effects of IUI in Iran, medications probable side effects on mother and baby. We’ll discuss how long the side effects typically last and what the symptoms of a successful IUI are. We’ll also compare IUI babies to normal babies and look at the success rate of IUI on the first try.

With this information and a precise look at IUI side effects, you can make an informed decision about your fertility treatment options! Keep reading this article to find out the answer to all of your questions.

IUI process :A fertility treatment journey isn’t always easy; before acting, make sure you’re informed about the potential side effects of IUI treatment; but it’s better at the first step of your knowledge journey to be aware of the IUI typical timeline. IUI in two major steps could be introduced so briefly, as follows:

Step 1

The first step is stimulating eggs growth. In this stage, female patient is given some medicines by the fertility doctor to help the body produce more high quality eggs.

Letrozole and Clomid (Clomiphene citrate) are the most common oral fertility medications that will be used to help the female body to produce more than one egg in one month! The result of working on both of them is the same and takes the same amount of effecting time.

Step 2

The second step is placing sperm inside the uterine cavity. In this essential stage, sperm is artificially inserted into the female’s uterine canal with a catheter. This way allows sperm to enter the uterus without being damaged along the route, increasing the likelihood and ease of meeting and fertilizing with the egg.

The sperm is carefully cleansed before the start of the IUI procedure, which involves separating the sperms from the seminal fluid. Some of the seminal fluid’s components may irritate the uterus and produce problems like cramping and discomfort, based on some articles.

Related articles: IUI vs IVF

Quick Information



Duration of procedure

Hospital Stay

Minimum Stay in Iran



3-4 weeks

Zero day

3-4 weeks

IVF + Embryo Transfer

21-28 days
  • Treatment
  • Medical consultation
  • Post Treatment follow-up
  • Airport Pick up/Drop off
  • And more


21-28 days
  • Treatment
  • Medical consultation
  • Post Treatment follow-up
  • Airport Pick up/Drop off
  • And more

IVF + Egg Donation

21-28 days
  • Treatment
  • Medical consultation
  • Post Treatment follow-up
  • Airport Pick up/Drop off
  • And more

IVF + PGD + Egg Donation

21-28 days
  • Treatment
  • Medical consultation
  • Post Treatment follow-up
  • Airport Pick up/Drop off
  • And more

iui side effects:


IUI medication side effects

Letrozole and Clomid (Clomiphene citrate) are the most common fertility medications; in this paragraph, we will focus on these medicine side effects that are so similar to each other;

  • Letrozole side effects 

Possible side effects of Letrozole are listed at following:

  1. Uncomfortable stomach/bloating
  2. Hot flashes
  3. Hazy eyesight
  4. Inability to sleep
  5. Abnormal bleeds or spots during the period
  6. Fatigue
  7. Dizziness
  8. Headache
  9. Painful breast
  • Clomid side effects

Possible side effects of Clomid are listed at following:

  1. A hot flash
  2. Stomach ache and bloating
  3. Gaining weight
  4. Headaches
  5. Mood changes
  6. Nausea
  7. Dizziness
  8. Breast sensitivity
  9. Abnormal spotting or bleeding during periods
  10. Dryness of vaginal

IUI side effects on mother

IUI similar to the other fertility treatments may have side effects. IUI side effects usually are due to the fertility medications. The title of dark side of IUI definitely is not appropriate for it, because all IUI side effects that every woman should know, as listed below, are so mild without serious health risks:

  1. Mood changes
  2. Depression
  3. A sudden feeling of warmth
  4. Headaches, nausea, or blurred vision.
  5. Ovaries that are sore and swollen (symptoms of ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS))
  6. Bloating, breast tenderness, or discomfort in the pelvis.
  7. Cysts on the ovary
  8. A rash or swelling near the injection site
  9. Infection (a slight chance)
  10. Spotting (a little vaginal due to entering into the uterus the tiny tube called a catheter)
  11. Multiple pregnancies

IUI side effects on baby

“Does IUI cause birth defects?” This is a question that may cause stress for the mothers who want to go through infertility treatments like IVF and IUI, for expanding their family.

According some researches, major congenital deformities, chromosomal abnormalities, and gene deficiencies are not mentioned as IUI side effects on baby.

Scientists say numerous of these genetic anomalies could happen due to the male infertility not by IUI process.

Surely you will ask: what is the relationship between male infertility and the genetic anomalies?

For answering this question, we draw your attention to the fact that one of the candidates for IUI is men with low sperm motility or count who need Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) like IVF or IUI.

For more information in this field, it is better to answer the question of “who is the best candidate for IUI?”

How long do IUI side effects last?

IUI side effects generally will take only 1-2 days and in the third day most of these signs will subside. IUI side effects like light spotting or cramping are frequent after IUI procedure. This is not the same as implantation bleeding in IVF treatment; However, consult your fertility doctor if any cramping or pain persists after 3 days.

What are the symptoms of IUI success?

As we mentioned in previous paragraphs, IUI is the artificial insemination procedure and includes injecting sperm into the uterus to fertilize the eggs and achieve conception.

The process may cause certain signs that, after 3 days, will disappear, but if the pregnancy result is positive, the true pregnancy symptoms (which have some similarities to the IUI side effects) may start to appear within two weeks. So, it is essential to confirm your pregnancy 14 days following the IUI procedure by taking a pregnancy test.

If you have chosen to conceive using an IUI technique, it is crucial to know what the symptoms of a successful IUI process is. So keep reading the following section to find out the signs of IUI success:

  1. Implantation bleeding

The embryo implanting itself into the uterus wall naturally causes the bleeding that occurs during two weeks following the IUI process. Some women may not experience implantation bleeding, whereas, in others, it may occur between six and twelve days following conception. The bleeding may be accompanied by mild cramps.

  1. Menstrual Delay

Similar to the happening during a typical pregnancy, the body’s hormonal changes might cause a delay in menstruation. It is best to involve the doctor as soon as you realize this.

  1. Breast Tenderness

One common IUI side effect is sensitive, painful, and tender breasts. However, a pregnancy test may be necessary if the breast tenderness persists even after the periods are postponed.

  1. Fatigue

Feeling weak and exhausted after an IUI procedure is quite normal. Progesterone levels are likely to contribute to fatigue and sleepiness. On the other hand, spotting and cramping may remain if the IUI procedure is successful.

Who is an ideal candidate for IUI?

As we discussed, during intrauterine insemination, sperm is inserted through a catheter into the uterus, so choosing the healthiest sperm from the sperm sample to reach a good result in the first attempt to avoid the other cycle of treatment and experiencing IUI side effects is so important.

IUI may aid in conception if you face any of the following obstacles for successful conceiving:

  • Cervical scar tissue from prior surgery

Scar tissue obstructing the sperm’s upward movement into the cervix can result in difficulties for successful pregnancy. Any surgery may cause formation of scar tissue.

  • Thick cervical mucus

The mucus is expelled to make it easier for sperm to enter the cervix. Sperm can actually be slowed by thicker cervical mucosa, which can cause it to get stuck when entering and never reach the egg.

  • PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

PCOS can cause irregular or nonexistent ovulation. PCOS patients are a good candidate for going through IUI to have a healthy baby.

  • Low sperm count

Despite the normal quantity of sperms, they may have low motility.

Now the question arises whether men who go for IUI due to low sperm motility or low number of sperms are the main culprits of the genetic defects of the children or “Can sperm cause genetic abnormalities?”

In particular, they note that one in 15 males is likely to have sperm mutations that could hurt their progeny. Prior studies revealed that older men are more likely to pass down some disorders to their offspring, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and some types of birth abnormalities.

So the health of sperm and the father’s age are two factors that could affect the IUI success rate and the results!

Is IUI successful in first try?

IUI success rate, like IVF success rate, is affected by different factors like age; by increasing the intended mother’s age, the success rate will decrease in a downward way, and thereupon the chance of successful IUI on the first try will reduce!

Alongside age, there are other reasons that may lead to failed IUI on the first try, including:

  • Endometriosis
  • Poor sperm quality
  • Decreased ovarian reserve
  • Poor egg quality

So by considering these factors and according to statistics in 2022, IUI success rate on average for a woman under 35 is 10-20% in each cycle and for a woman over 40, this rate may decrease to 2-5% in each IUI cycle.



About TebMedTourism company

TebMedTourism Company is an International healthcare facilitator based in Tehran, Iran.

We start our professional activity in medical tourism industry regarding the profound capability of Iran in both healthcare & touristic fields.

We are ready with open arms to provide desirable services to our dear patients & guests from all over the world to enjoy world-class treatment quality and highly skilled doctors in Iran.

TebMedTourism company is cooperating with more than 40 internationally certified hospitals, 140 selected local hospitals, 300 specialized medical centers, 430 doctors, 112 hotels, domestic and international airlines in Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad, Tabriz, Qom and other cities in Iran.

TebMedTourism team facilitates comprehensive medical & cosmetic packages in all medical & wellness & touristic fields aimed to achieve your desires.

TebMedTourism experienced team will make this procedure seamless and enjoyable from A to Z, so you will just focus on your recovery.

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