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Parental induction of ovulation

Parenteral induction of ovulation (PIO) is a procedure that stimulates the ovaries and times the introduction of the sperm.

Explaining the parental induction of ovulation procedure with diagrams of the uterus

What is parental induction of ovulation?

Parenteral induction of ovulation (PIO) is a procedure that stimulates the ovaries and times the introduction of the sperm, either with timed sex or intra-uterine insemination (IUI).

Stimulating ovaries

You will receive hormone injections (Metrodin, Gonal F or Puregon), which stimulate the ovaries to produce a number of follicles that contain eggs. These injections will be given every other day from the second or third day of your menstrual cycle.

Monitoring egg development

Follicle growth is monitored by ultrasound scan. About three scans are carried out per cycle. This allows follicle growth to be monitored and the best time of insemination can be planned. If one to three pre-ovulatory follicles can be seen on the scan, you will be given another hormone injection (Pregnyl or Profasi) to trigger ovulation (the release of eggs).

Sex should be timed with ovulation. You will be given advice on timings.

Transferring prepared sperm sample

Your partner will be asked to produce a semen sample at the hospital about two hours before it is transferred to the womb. The sperm is then prepared for insemination. It’s essential that the sperm is washed by the nurse or scientist to avoid the risk of infection, which could cause painful muscular contractions of the uterus.

If donor sperm is being used, the sample will be taken from frozen storage. When donor sperm is used during any assisted conception technique, recommendations from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and the Royal College of Gynaecologists are followed.

The procedure is done as a day case and should feel no more intrusive than a smear test. A fine catheter is passed through the cervix into the uterus and the prepared sperm are then slowly injected.

For more information, and if you have any queries, speak to your consultant.


PIO may be appropriate if you have:

  • Unexplained infertility
  • Cervical mucous hostility (inability of sperm to penetrate the cervical mucus)
  • Mild antisperm antibodies (these occur when the body becomes sensitised to sperm, causing an immune system response that destroys the sperm)
  • Frozen sperm
  • Abnormally shaped sperm.

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