An option for women wanting to get pregnant, who have not had success previously, is artificial insemination. Artificial insemination is an antidote to infertility, whereby the sperm is placed in the uterus of the woman who desires pregnancy. The sperm donor is individually selected by the woman seeking artificial insemination.
Nearly 45% of women with infertility issues seek medical treatment due to their infertility. Sixty-five percent (65%) of those women end up giving birth. There are 2 main methods of artificial insemination. 1) Intrauterine insemination, or IUI, and 2) intracervical insemination, otherwise known as ICI.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
An IUI procedure is where the selected sperm is placed directly into the woman’s uterus. It is an out-patient procedure (completed in a doctor’s office).
- The selected semen is ‘washed’ in order to remove barriers to fertilization.
- The doctor will use a medical instrument, a speculum, to open the uterus for better accessibility.
- the use of medications, fertility medicines included,
- the age of the woman, and
- medical conditions.
- the man has a low sperm count or low motility,
- the couple have a concerning genetic defect,
- the woman may have a history of endometriosis, and
- the woman may be single and wants children regardless, among other reasons.
Potential side effects include light bleeding or cramps. Some women, however, experience no side effects. The procedure uses sterilized equipment and all necessary precautions are taken to limit the risk of infection.
Intracervical Insemination (ICI)
An ICI procedure calls for inserting the selected semen into the woman’s cervix, the area just outside the uterus. This is either an out-patient procedure or an at-home procedure. A woman’s ovulation will be monitored via ultrasound, or by counting days from her menstrual period. Medication can be used to help induce ovulation. This may result in the release of multiple eggs, however.
A syringe is used to place the sperm into the woman’s vagina, or it can be placed into a cap that is inserted into the cervix for a fixed amount of time. This procedure requires the woman to lie down for up to 30 minutes. In approximately 2 weeks, the woman will take a pregnancy test. The process can be repeated, if necessary.
Additionally, there are medications that women can take that will increase the chance of pregnancy. However, medications can result in more than one egg being fertilized. Women will need to weigh their options when considering a regime of fertility medicines and artificial insemination.
Artificial insemination depends upon more than the procedure itself. For success, other factors include…
According to a study published in Human Reproduction, the pregnancy success rate for IUI was over 40%, after 6 treatments, and nearly 38% for ICI, after 6 treatments.
Why Choose Artificial Insemination?
The obvious benefit is that a woman with infertility problems may become pregnant. Other reasons for seeking artificial insemination include…
Women with infertility do not have to live without the prospect of children. Artificial insemination is a viable option for pregnancy for many women.