ClientBlogIUI-ready and ICI-ready donor sperm: What is the difference?
Home Insemination, Fertility treatment, Donor sperm

IUI-ready and ICI-ready donor sperm: What is the difference?

IUI-ready and ICI-ready sperm

When browsing through our extended list of sperm donors, you will come across the terms "IUI-ready" and "ICI-ready" (or ICI-Unwashed). These two terms are used as a description of sperm that has been prepared and is available from that donor.

You have the option of choosing between two types of sperm straws: IUI and ICI. Before making your decision, it is important to understand the difference between the two.

What is a Sperm Straw?

A sperm straw is a small plastic cylinder that you purchase when you are trying to become pregnant with donor sperm. When you buy donor sperm from Cryos, your fertility clinic will receive the order in straws of 0.5 milliliters of sperm, which are then used for fertility treatment.

ICI vs IUI: What is the Difference?

The difference between IUI and ICI straws is whether the natural fluids from the ejaculate have been removed. The IUI straw is washed and processed, while the ICI straw is unwashed. Both straws are ready for insemination. The choice between the two depends on the type of treatment. If you are going to use IUI, IVF or ICSI, you need to choose IUI-ready sperm (washed). On the other hand, if you are going to use home insemination, you can choose to order ICI-ready donor sperm.

If you want to learn more about the difference between IUI and ICI procedure, then follow the link.

IUI-ready (Intrauterine Insemination) Sperm

IUI-ready sperm means that the sperm has been washed. Before cryopreservation, the sperm cells are separated from the seminal fluid through a density gradient, washed and then added to a cryopreservative medium.

This type of sperm is typically used for an IUI procedure (and fertility treatments such as IVF). This is because those treatments require washed sperm that has been cleaned of its seminal fluid.

IUI-ready sperm can also be used for home insemination, but it is not necessary. Most people chose to purchase IUI-ready sperm for home insemination just in case their preferred donor does not have ICI-ready straws available. Read more about how the home insemination procedure is done here.

An illustration of an insemination with IUI ready sperm

ICI-ready (Intra-Cervical Insemination) Sperm

ICI-ready (or ICI-unwashed) sperm means that the sperm is unwashed. In other words, all the natural fluid and cells are held together with the sperm instead of "washed" or removed. This is ideal for home insemination because these are non-surgical procedures, so your body will handle the sperm naturally, just as it would during intercourse.

If you are about to order donor sperm for home insemination, we can recommend you read our blog post about the amount of sperm you should order.

More Information about IUI-ready and ICI-ready sperm and donors

Cryos strives to provide you with the knowledge you need when choosing your perfect sperm donor. If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected] or give our friendly Customer Care Team a call at (407) 203-1175. We look forward to helping you on your path to parenthood!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use IUI sperm at home?

It is possible to order IUI-ready sperm for fertility treatment at home, but it is not necessary. Many clients who order IUI-ready sperm for home insemination do so only because their preferred donor may have a limited supply of unwashed ICI sperm.

Is washed or unwashed sperm better for ICI?

There is no difference in terms of success rate, whether you want to use IUI or ICI-ready sperm. The only difference is in terms of price, as ICI-ready donor sperm is cheaper than IUI-ready.

How much sperm is needed for ICI?

For ICI treatment, we recommend using 2 x ICI or IUI, MOT10 straws.