Everything You Need to Know About Artificial Insemination

Center for reproductive medicine

Over 12% of couples, or one in every eight, experience difficulties conceiving a child when they are intentionally trying. Infertility can take an emotional toll on a couple; it feels frustrating, stressful, and hopeless to want to see two lines on a pregnancy test so badly but to only to come up with negative results month after month. Fortunately, infertility treatments continue to progress, making pregnancies for couples who haven’t been able to in the past more possible than ever. The most common fertility treatments used these days is artificial insemination.

What is Artificial Insemination?
Artificial insemination is a fertility treatment in which the sperm is inserted directly into the cervix, Fallopian tubes, or uterus, which removes several factors that discourage the egg from being fertilized. The treatment is timed to perfectly align with the female’s ovulation schedule, and she will likely take fertility drugs prior to insemination to increase the chances of conception.

Who Does Artificial Insemination Work Best For?
Artificial insemination is most successful for couples who struggle to conceive due to low sperm count, motility (the ability for the sperm to move through the reproductive tract), or sperm hypersensitivity in the uterus. The sperm’s journey to the egg is shortened and put in the ideal circumstance, to heighten the chances of conception.

What Does the Artificial Insemination Procedure Entail?
The artificial insemination process is pretty simple and the actual procedure takes less than an hour. The female will begin taking fertility drugs at the beginning her cycle and closely monitor her ovulation with an ovulation device. The insemination appointment is scheduled during the prime of ovulation. After the doctor confirms that the egg has been released into the uterus with an ultrasound, the male produces a sperm sample. The sperm is “cleaned” with a solution that concentrates it and increases its potency and then is then inserted into the uterus through a catheter. If everything goes well, a positive pregnancy test will be produced in as little as two weeks.

What are the pros of artificial insemination?
There are several benefits to artificial insemination that make it the first choice for couples trying conceive:

  • The procedure is a quick and non-invasive.
  • Artificial insemination has an extremely high success rate.
  • The treatment costs relatively less than more complicated, invasive procedures.

What are the cons of artificial insemination?
Some of the reasons that artificial insemination is not successful include:

  • In order to be successful, the ovulation of the female must be accurately timed, sometimes down to the hour.
  • The male must be able to produce a sperm sample on-site, at the appointment to inseminate the female. If this is not possible, chryrogenically frozen sperm can be used.
  • Artificial insemination will not cause conception in the case of some infertility issues.

How to Begin Fertility Treatments
If you are interested in undergoing artificial insemination or other infertility procedures to conceive a child, talk to your doctor about getting a referral to a fertility center. A fertility doctor will be able to run tests and determine the best course of action to achieve conception.

Did you use a fertility treatment to conceive your child? Do you have any advice or encouragement to share with others in your position? Leave us a comment with your experience below.

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