What is artificial insemination?
Artificial insemination is a fertility treatment in which a sperm sample is placed inside the uterine cavity of the women while she ovulating.
To be able to carry out an artificial insemination with good prospects of success, two factors need to be considered:
- The woman’s age shouldn’t be over 35 years
- Short time duration of sterility
How is the artificial insemination done?
For an artificial insemination the ovaries need to be stimulated with hormones through daily subcutaneous injections beginning on the first days of the cycle. During the stimulation the ovarian reaction needs to be monitored through a series of ultrasounds. The objective of the stimulation is to achieve the development of one or two follicles in order to minimize the risk of a multiple pregnancy. Once the ovulation has started the artificial insemination will be carried out after 25-40 hours.
If the sperm sample of the partner shall be used, he will have to come to the clinic previously to deliver the sample and have it prepared in the laboratory.
The insemination will be done ambulatory by passing a catheter into the cervix through which the sperm sample will be introduced into the uterus.
Once this is done, after some minutes of rest, the woman can go home.
How long does the process take?
The duration of the artificial insemination treatment depends mainly on the ovarian stimulation phase. If the response is adequately, we achieve a proper follicle development after eight to ten days of stimulation. Sometimes it is necessary to prolong the stimulation in order to accomplish the desired follicle development.
In the majority of cases, the insemination will be finalized within a period of 15 days.
Is it obligatory to stimulate the ovaries?
The ovarian stimulation is not obligatory for artificial insemination in women ovulating regularly. Nevertheless, it is recommended to do so since it improves remarkably the chances of success.
How often do I have to attend the clinic?
During the treatment, it will be necessary to attend the clinic several times for the follicle development control. Usually it won’t be necessary to attend for more than three ultrasound controls before programming the insemination
Which tests are necessary for the artificial insemination?
The recommended tests for the artificial insemination are:
Type of sperm
The sperm used for the artificial insemination can be from the partner or a donor.
In case using donor sperm, it will be chosen according to the established law, preserving maximum phenotypical similarity with the patients.
How is the sperm prepared?
On the day of the insemination, the sperm sample will be prepared in the laboratory through a sperm capitation process, which consists of selecting the progressively mobile spermatozoa apt for the fertilisation of the eggs.
What shall be done after the insemination?
After the insemination, it is suggested to apply progesterone supplements for some days in order to support the embryo implantation.
Can I live a normal life?
After the insemination cycle, the woman will not notice much difference to her natural cycle. It is recommended to lead a normal life as much as possible.
When shall the pregnancy test be done?
It is recommended to make a pregnancy test in urine two weeks after the insemination.
How often can an insemination be done?
Like in a natural cycle, the inseminations can be repeated in each cycle. It is not necessary to sit one cycle out in order to increase success rates.
Is there a limit to the amount of inseminations?
The success rates for inseminations maintain stable during the three first attempts. If no pregnancy is achieved after three inseminations, it is recommended to pass on to a different, more effective treatment.
The success rates of artificial insemination depend on the patient’s age, reaching 27% using the partner’s sperm and 33% with donor sperm. These rates are similar to the ones a non-sterile couple would have during a natural cycle.
Risks of artificial insemination
The principal risk of artificial insemination is a multiple pregnancy depending on the number of follicles developing during the stimulation. This risk is controllable by monitoring the treatment via ultrasound.