When looking at a donor’s available straws in the Sperm Donor Search you will come across the terms IUI and ICI. In the following, we explain the difference between IUI straws and ICI straws and what to choose for which treatment.
What is an IUI straw?
IUI straws contain washed sperm that has been prepared in a laboratory. The natural ejaculate fluids have been removed and a cryo-preservative has been added.
What type of treatment are IUI straws used for?
IUI straws are ready to use for IUI treatment, where the sperm is inserted directly into the uterus. This fertility treatment allows a lot of sperm cells to reach the egg and therefore, the chances of getting pregnant are increased compared to ICI treatment. IUI treatment is always performed by a trained health care professional.
What is an ICI straw?
ICI straws are unwashed/unprepared sperm. ICI straws contain all the natural fluids that are present in a normal ejaculate.
What type of treatment are ICI sperm straws used for?
ICI straws can be used for intra cervical insemination (ICI). In this fertility treatment, a syringe is used to insert the sperm into the woman’s vagina. The motile sperm (sperm motility) cells will swim into the uterus and hopefully, fertilize the egg. This is similar to intercourse.
ICI straws can only be used for IUI, IVF or ICSI treatment if your clinic can wash the straws before the treatment. Please consult your clinic regarding which type of straw they prefer.
ICI donor sperm is not ready to use for IUI (intra uterine insemination) treatment as inserting unwashed sperm directly into the uterus may cause a negative reaction leading to severe cramps.
Ask your fertility clinic
We always recommend that you ask your clinic for advice as to which type of sperm straws to order. You are also welcome to contact Cryos Customer Care, if you need further guidance when choosing between IUI and ICI.