Usually, when a partner is diagnosed with infertility, discussions about artificial insemination are brought up. This is an option taken by couples who have trouble conceiving. In this process, medical methods are used to be able to directly insert sperm into the cervix, uterus or fallopian tube of a woman. This increases the chances of the sperm successfully reaching its destination rather than not. This is often done through a method called IUI or “Intrauterine Insemination”. This is particularly helpful by removing any factors that can affect the sperm’s journey. It makes the duration of time shorter before fertilization happens and any obstacles along the way are effectively avoided.
What Happens During the Procedure?
Before getting started, ultrasound procedures, ovulation kits and blood tests will be conducted just to make sure that you are ovulating properly when you get artificially inseminated. This is to ensure that the sperm can meet with a healthy egg to be able to execute a proper fertilization process. Your partner will then be asked to provide a sperm sample. This will be evaluated in the laboratory where they can observe how many sperm cells are present in the sample and how many of them are actually healthy. Recommendations that your male partner should not have sex for two to days prior to the procedure will be made. Avoiding sex for this length of time ensures that the sperm count in the sample will be higher. This gives more choices for the doctor so that he could choose a healthy and strong sperm cell that has higher possibilities of successfully meeting with a woman’s egg cell.
Immediate Submission of the Sample
If the medical clinic you are going to is closely located to your house, then semen collection can be possibly done at home. However, if you live a little farther from the clinic, semen collection would be done in a private room. This is due to the fact that within one hour of ejaculation, the sperm sample must be collected and given to the doctor’s office to avoid the death of the sperm cells.
“Washing” of the Sperm
Once the sperm is submitted, it is “washed” in a laboratory in order to get rid of the chemicals that are found in the sperm sample that may irritate the woman. This gives her higher chances of getting pregnant. Then, liquefaction of the sperm is conducted by technicians in order to separate and collect the most active sperm. This is done by using a centrifuge. After this process is done, the most active sperm are placed in a thin tube-like structure which is termed as a catheter. This is placed in the uterus through the cervix and vagina.
Is Pain Involved?
The process of artificially being inseminated is relatively painless and short. Many women who have tried getting a Pap Smear described the artificial insemination process like having the procedure done. Cramping could be something that would be experienced later as well as bleeding that is very light. Also, you would not be getting up right away after the procedure is done. The doctor will suggest that you lie down for a bit to provide the sperm a chance to get moving. After around fifteen to forty five minutes, you can already resume with your daily activities.
In some situations, before the procedure is conducted, fertility drugs will first be prescribed to you by your doctor. An example of this is Clomiphene Citrate which stimulates your ovaries to ovulate higher amounts of egg cells. The reason for this is to provide a higher number of possibilities for the fertilization to take place. More egg cells would mean more chances that the sperm cell could reach one which would mean that there would also be higher chances of you getting pregnant.
What Affects The Success Rate Artificial Insemination?
There might be instances that the process would have lower chances of being successful if certain factors are present. One of these is the age of the woman or if the quality of the egg cell that is being ovulated is poor already. This goes the same with the quality of the sperm. Cases of endometriosis and damage to the fallopian tubes can also greatly affect the success of artificial insemination.