ICI (or intra-cervical insemination–though intra-vaginal insemination is more accurate) is an “at-home” insemination procedure. Unwashed sperm is deposited using a small syringe into the vaginal canal. It is important that ICI vials not be deposited into the cervix or further because ICI vials are unwashed semen, which possesses seminal proteins that will cause cramping. By depositing this unwashed sperm into the vaginal canal, the cervix acts like a filter and will only let the good sperm through.
IUI (or intra-uterine insemination) is an “in-office” insemination procedure. Washed sperm is deposited into the top of the uterus using a catheter, close to the egg.
IVF (or in vitro fertilization) is a technologically advanced procedure that involves extracting both the egg(s) from the woman, the sperm from the man, and manually introducing the two (fertilizing the egg) in a petri dish. The fertilized egg is tended for by a team of embryologists and after several days, the fertilized egg has matured enough to be deposited into the woman’s uterus where it will hopefully implant and grow into a baby.