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Artificial insemination

What You Should Know About Artificial Insemination

 The rising rates of infertility, the social acceptance of same-sex couples and the trend of being single as a lifestyle create a huge market for artificial insemination. It is the most common and simplest form of fertility treatments compared to other assisted reproductive technologies.

What Factors Might Call For Artificial Insemination?

  • Low sperm count, slow weak sperm unable to get to the fallopian tubes.
  • Female endometriosis
  • Cervical mucus creates a hostile environment to sperm and they never reach the fallopian tubes (immune rejection)
  • Unclear reasons behind infertility

Artificial insemination offers solutions for all these conditions and gives hope to millions of couples worldwide who can achieve no results through natural insemination.

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Artificial insemination can be:

  • Intracervical
  • Intrauterine
  • Intrauterine tuboperitoneal (both uterus and fallopian tubes are exposed to semen)

How Is Artificial Insemination Carried Out?

  • You are very likely to receive ovarian hyper stimulation treatment beforehand to have various eggs at a time.
  • The female fertility window is observed and identified with various ovulation tests (temperature, ultrasound and blood test).
  • Sperm samples are taken from the partner or the sperm donor. It is recommended not to ejaculate 2-3 days before the sample is given to increase sperm count. In case of intrauterine insemination the sperm is cleaned from non-motile sperms and other superfluous mucus through a special procedure called ‘washing’. This step is essential to make the semen more concentrated and to avoid uterus cramps after the procedure. Sperm can be collected by masturbation or with the help of a collecting condom during sexual intercourse.
  • At ovulation the treated and selected sperm is inserted into the woman’s vagina or uterus by a special syringe, a catheter (a thin and flexible tube) or a so called conception device. Sometimes a cervical cap is applied to keep sperm at its place for hours.
  • The procedure itself is short and painless, although light bleeding or cramps can occur.
  • After insemination the doctor will keep you in a still, lying position, but then you can leave the facility and go back to your normal routine.
  • No anesthesia or surgery is used for the treatment.

Artificial Insemination Success Rates – (using intrauterine technique)

For infertile couples artificial insemination is normally the first technique they try before they turn to most complex and intrusive methods such as in vitro fertilization. Patients are encouraged not to give up after the first attempt, as sometimes success comes after the fifth or sixth occasion. In IUF about 60-70% reaches pregnancy after six menstrual cycles.

It considerably improves the chances of pregnancy, especially:

  • when accompanied by superovulation
  • in case of mild male infertility
  • in case of women with endometriosis combined with gonadotropin.

Female age has been strongly related to the outcome, as with age egg quality decreases, success rates drop.

Couples whose infertility is unexplained, no higher chance of pregnancy can be expected with intrauterine fertilization than natural intercourse.

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How Much Does Artificial Insemination Cost?

  • Besides inquiring about success rates and reputation of clinics comparing prices is an essential precaution.
  • When you ask for a pre-calculation, make sure what is included in the price (hormones, sperm washing)
  • Consult the clinic about health insurance coverage.
  • The average price on the U.S. ranges between $1.500 and $4.000 per cycle and if you use a donor sperm costs go higher.