Artificial Insemination Spells Success for Countless Women

When you consider the latest trends in fertility treatments, artificial insemination, also referred to as intrauterine insemination (IUI), may not always come to mind. However, the fact is that this procedure is one of the most commonly used fertility treatments throughout the world. It helps thousands of women each year achieve pregnancy.

Artificial insemination is certainly not new. It has been used since the early 1900s. Although the approach is relatively the same as it was more than a century ago, the procedure has become more precise and advanced through the years.

Why is artificial insemination used?

Infertility issues do not lie solely with the female partner. In certain cases, male fertility problems are why many couples fail to conceive. As such, artificial insemination can be quite helpful in many of these cases, particularly when a male is diagnosed with poor sperm motility, decreased sperm count, problems with erectile dysfunction, and other ejaculation dysfunction disorders.  In addition, single women who wish to carry a child or same-sex female couples hoping to raise a family may benefit from donor sperm introduced via artificial insemination.

How is artificial insemination carried out?

Artificial insemination is not a complicated procedure. It can be done in a matter of minutes and is relatively painless for the patient.

During the procedure, the doctor inserts a thin, flexible catheter through the cervix and injects “washed” sperm that has been directed into the uterus. Insertion and removal are simple and shouldn’t result in any complications.

It is likely that through artificial insemination, more healthy sperm reach the fallopian tubes (the site where egg fertilization occurs) than with sexual intercourse. This increases the chances of fertilization occurring, thus explaining why artificial insemination is quite a successful procedure in so many cases.

Most women report that artificial insemination feels similar to having a pap smear. After the procedure, patients are advised to recline for about 10 minutes to allow the sperm to swim up the fallopian tubes to help increase the chances of success. No heavy lifting or aerobic exercise for a few days after the procedure is also recommended.

What is “washed” sperm?

To ensure that the procedure has the best chance of success, sperm produced by the partner or a donor is “washed” before being inserted.

Sperm wash is a medical process performed by an expert (andrologist) where most weak and dead sperm are separated from the live sperm. These live sperm are then suspended in special media that is safe for both the sperm and the uterus. The bottom line for the sperm wash process is that the best sperm from the semen sample has been separated and concentrated. As a result, by placing these sperm inside the uterus via the artificial insemination procedure, higher chances of pregnancy should occur.

When will I know if I’m pregnant?

Just as with natural conception, you won’t know immediately whether the procedure is successful. Implantation likely won’t occur until about a week or so afterward. Most doctors suggest taking a pregnancy test two weeks after the procedure.

Consult a specialist

Just as with any other assisted fertility procedure, the success of artificial insemination depends on many factors, including your reproductive history, age, infertility diagnosis, and more. To give yourself the highest chance of becoming pregnant, you should speak to a fertility specialist who can educate you on all your options for achieving a successful pregnancy.

At Advanced Reproductive Medicine, we’ve helped thousands of women in the Central New Jersey area and beyond achieve their dreams of starting a family. We can help you as well. Please schedule a consultation, or call us at 732-339-9300.

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