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Happy couple with positive pregnancy test


Struggling with fertility can be a heartbreaking obstacle for couples who want to build their families.

IUI, or intrauterine insemination, can aid in the fertilization process for those who are having trouble conceiving.

Explore how Houston Fertility Center in Houston, TX, can help you grow your family with IUI...

What Is IUI?

Intrauterine insemination is a kind of fertility treatment that involves placing sperm directly inside a patient's uterus. By placing the sperm in the uterus, the sperm is closer to the fallopian tubes, and the odds that the sperm will reach the fallopian tubes and fertilize an egg are improved.

Though this fertility treatment places many sperm cells directly in the uterus, success still depends on a sperm reaching an egg and fertilizing it on its own.

Intrauterine insemination is a less invasive and less expensive option than IVF and is often used as a first fertility treatment before moving to other methods.

IUI Diagram. Sperm are collected and washed, then concentrated well mobile sperm are injected into the uterus

Who Can Benefit From IUI?

This method of insemination is typically used in cases where couples have:

  • Donor sperm
  • Semen allergy
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Endometriosis-related infertility
  • Ovulatory factor infertility (such as the absence of ovulation or a reduced number of eggs)
  • Cervical factor infertility (such as cervical scar tissue or thick cervical mucous)
  • Mild male factor infertility (such as decreased sperm mobility or low sperm count)

Our doctor, Sonja B. Kristiansen, can determine if you're a good candidate for intrauterine insemination during a consultation at our fertility clinic in Houston, TX.

What Is Unexplained Infertility?


A patient has unexplained infertility if they've undergone standard fertility testing to find the cause of their inability to become pregnant, but the doctors are unable to determine a reason for it. IUI is usually the first treatment for unexplained infertility, along with ovulation-inducing medication.

"Always so Kind and Attentive"


Laura H


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My husband and I had a great experience here. Our first visit was relaxed and informative. Another place we tried was very pushy and “salesy”, like they were selling me a car. Dr. Kristiansen and staff were always so kind and attentive. When we had difficulty, they were caring and very helpful. Accommodating to our unique schedule and informative whenever we had questions, no matter how silly. I recommend this place to anyone having difficulties. Thank you HFC for helping us conceive our TWINS!!

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Emma Karko


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I don't think there could be a more compassionate and caring clinic than Dr Kristiansen's! Because of her and her fabulous team, I have 3 beautiful children. Her nurse, Mayra Lopez, has been with me through every step of this journey and has simply been an amazing and constant source of support.

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Build Your Family With The Help Of Our Fertility Clinic

Our aim is to help hopeful parents realize their dreams. Houston Fertility Center understands that building a family may come with some unforeseen challenges, but there are solutions for infertility difficulty conceiving. Our clinic offers a variety of infertility treatments, so couples have plenty of options to meet their unique needs.

If you've been struggling with fertility and building your family, we invite you to fill out our contact form or call our Houston office to get in touch with Dr. Sonja Kristiansen:


Sperm Washing A Necessary Part Of IUI

Prior to your insemination procedure, a semen sample will have to be collected from your partner or from a donor. Our lab will then wash the semen to separate the sperm from the seminal fluid.

Sperm washing isolates a concentrated amount of healthy sperm cells to improve your chances of getting pregnant. The process also removes the chemicals in semen that can cause reactions in the uterus that make it harder to become pregnant.

Understanding the IUI Process

Your intrauterine insemination will involve several steps:


In some cases, a medication that stimulates ovulation can be taken prior to your procedure to ensure the right timing and conditions at the time of the transfer.


During ovulation, your ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized. During this time, the concentrated sperm can be placed in your uterus.


During your appointment, a speculum is inserted into your vagina so your care provider can see your cervix and easily place a catheter.


The washed semen sample is slowly injected into the catheter and transported directly to the uterus. Some women may experience mild cramping during this process.

The IUI process at our Houston, TX, center is minimally invasive and may take only five to 10 minutes to complete.

Monitoring for Pregnancy

Pregnancy will occur if the sperm that was injected into your uterus fertilizes an egg and the fertilized egg implants in the lining of your uterus. Though you're likely excited to see if your treatment worked, it will take a few weeks to determine your results. Verification involves:

Pregnancy Test

Pregnancy test

After your procedure, wait at least two weeks before taking a pregnancy test to allow for more accurate results. Testing too soon could result in either a false-positive or false-negative.

Blood Test

Blood Test

You may be instructed to undergo a blood test with Dr. Kristiansen about two weeks after your at-home test. This in-office blood test measures pregnancy hormones and will be able to give you more accurate results.


If used every month, intrauterine insemination can increase the chances of pregnancy by 20 percent each cycle. However, success depends on a variety of factors, including the patient's age, the reason for infertility, and the use of fertility medication.

If you are under the age of 35, three to six cycles of IUI may be recommended before moving to IVF.

If you're over the age of 35, your chances of conceiving through IUI may be lower, and IVF may be a better option; however, our doctor can determine if IUI is worth a try during your consultation.

Couple Happy with positive pregnancy test

Increase Your Chances of Pregnancy

Sonja B. Kristiansen, MD, is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist infertility specialist who helps patients achieve their dreams of being parents, even if they've been trying for months or years.

If you have questions about intrauterine insemination or want to meet with Dr. Kristiansen, we invite you to fill out our contact form or call:

(713) 225-5375

Dr. Sonja B. Kristiansen, MD

"Wonderful Experience"


Jessica W


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I had a wonderful experience with Dr. K and her team. They were responsive to my MANY questions and very compassionate throughout the entire process. We are expecting twins any day now and are so grateful to her, Mayra, Blanca, Lana, Melissa, and their stellar embryology team!

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Reyna Alcala


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Personally i had a good experience with my invocell process started meds for 2 weeks in September by october 8 had the transfer and couple days later the positive pregnancy test! My baby boy is now 1 month old and im in love ❤ Thank you so much Dr. K and staff you were all amazing!!

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Who Doesn't Qualify for IUI?

IUI may not be recommended if:

The patient has severe disease of the fallopian tubes
The patient has moderate to severe endometriosis
The patient has a history of pelvic infections

Paying for IUI

Our fertility clinic serving patients from Houston and beyond is proud to offer high-quality services at affordable rates. We accept insurance and financing, offer specials, and provide medication assistance programs.

Your insurance may contribute to the cost of IUI. Most insurance plans cover the initial consult with a reproductive endocrinologist infertility specialist and the testing that goes into finding out why you can't get pregnant.

Your fertility treatment itself may be partially or completely covered, but certain plans may not contribute to the cost at all. If you have any out-of-pocket costs, our friendly staff will help you explore financing options. 

We will always be completely transparent about costs so you can plan accordingly.

About IVF

During IVF, a mature egg is collected from your ovaries and combined with sperm from your partner or donor sperm in a lab. We also offer a variation on IVF called INVOcell™ that uses a device implanted in the uterus to support fertilization, rather than an incubator. After fertilization, the embryo or embryos are placed in your uterus.

IVF typically has a higher success rate than IUI, but is more expensive and invasive.

If neither IUI nor IVF yield the desired result, we can use other means to improve your chances of fertilization, like using a sperm donor or egg donor.


"You Helped Us Make Our Dream Come True"


angy quezada


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Dear Dr. Sonja Kristiansen and staff, words cannot express our happiness and the joy you have brought to our lives! thank you for all your kindness and caring during our invocell procedure, You helped us make our dream come true. We have the sweetest little boy now and are truly blessed each day. The entire experience was so very amazing, you are a great doctor with awesome staff that makes each person feel like an individual. You found a way to make a stressful situation a personal, rewarding. Our baby is now 14 weeks old and doing wonderful! You are such a great doctor and kind-hearted person. Words cannot express how much you mean to us.

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Kristina Lesniak


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Going through infertility is one of the most difficult things a family could go through. Dr. Kristiansen and her staff, Melissa, Mayra, Blanca and Lana helped to ensure the most positive experience. They were always professional and friendly and I always felt like I could call them anytime with all my questions (which I did). They never made me feel like I was just a patient or a number they always made me feel special. We did 2 IUI’s before switching clinics to Dr. Kristiansen and we are so grateful we did... Our last transfer was finally successful due to Dr. K and her staff’s amazing collaboration, communication and hard work is what I believe helped to make out final transfer a success. I know that Dr. K and her staff believe that our success is their success. Dr. K and her staff were the only positive things about the grueling journey through infertility.

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Dr. Sonja Kristiansen

Houston Fertility Center

Dr. Sonja Kristiansen is the founder and Medical Director of Houston Fertility Center. She is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist Infertility (REI) specialist who is proud to help hopeful parents fulfill their dreams of having children. Our center is affiliated with the:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • Texas Medical Association

We provide convenient care for patients from greater Houston and visitors from out of town. For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (713) 225-5375 today.

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