Artificial Insemination (AI) is a deliberate method of introducing sperm into a woman’s uterine cavity or cervix through in vivo fertilization for the purpose of getting pregnant. This fertility treatment was initially used in animals but was later adapted by medical scientists for human use. Additionally, artificial insemination can be performed in various techniques, including; intrauterine insemination (IUI) and intracervical insemination (ICI). Read on to learn more about the artificial insemination process and why you should have your artificial insemination performed by Nidhee M. Sachdev, MD.
How does Artificial Insemination work?
Artificial insemination is usually performed on couples who have failed to get naturally pregnant due to the following factors:
- Cervical factor infertility. If the mucus produced by the cervix around the period of ovulation is too thick, it may prevent the sperm from traveling to the fallopian tubes. Scarring caused by a biopsy and other surgical procedures can cause the cervix to thicken; thus, preventing the sperm from reaching the egg.
- Semen allergy. In rare cases, when the semen gets into contact with the skin, it can cause burning, swelling, and redness around the vagina. IUI is usually used during severe semen sensitivity cases.
- Endometriosis-related infertility. This type of infertility is easily solved using certain medications and performing intrauterine insemination to obtain a good-quality egg.
- Mild male factor infertility. Artificial insemination can be used to help males deal with weak sperm movement, below-average sperm concentration, or morphology (abnormalities in sperm shape and size).
- Ovulatory factor infertility. Intrauterine insemination is usually performed to treat women with infertility problems caused by problems with ovulation, including a reduced number of eggs or absence of ovulation.
- Unexplained infertility. IUI is the first treatment method for unexplained fertility and other ovulation-inducing medications.
- Donor sperm. Intrauterine insemination is used to help women achieve pregnancy using donor sperm.
- Ovulatory factor infertility. IUI may also be performed for women with infertility caused by ovulation problems, including an absence of ovulation or a decreasing number of eggs.
What to expect during the procedure
Artificial insemination is a short and quite painless procedure. Before the actual procedure, your doctor will prescribe some fertility drugs to help your body induce many eggs. During the actual procedure, your practitioner will use ultrasound, blood tests, or ovulation kits to ensure you are ovulating before the procedure is performed. Your partner will also be required to provide a sample of their semen and later present it in the lab for “washing.”
After the procedure
Once the procedure is done, you may experience cramping and light bleeding after the procedure. Your doctor will request you lie on your back for 15-45 minutes to allow the sperm to work effectively. Your doctor may instruct you to return after two weeks for a blood test to detect pregnancy hormones after fertilization.
Artificial insemination is among the few effective fertility treatments that work successfully. That said, you need to seek professional help for satisfactory results. Dr. Nidhee M. Sachdev, MD of the OC Fertility® in Newport Beach, California, offers personalized treatments to help increase your chances of getting pregnant. You can schedule an appointment online or call us today.