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Artificial Insemination
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Artificial insemination, also known as intrauterine insemination, is the process of injecting a woman with carefully prepared sperm from her partner, or sperm from a donor. Artificial insemination is used in cases of unexplained infertility, or when a male has minimal amounts of sperm present in his semen, or other sperm difficulties such as motility issues, or genetic problems. Artificial insemination is used in conjunction with ovulation drugs to optimize the chance for fertilization. Artificial insemination should only be recommended after full tests have been performed on the woman to check for any structural problems, infection or hormonal imbalances that may affect fertilization and pregnancy.

Insemination involves monitoring ovulation through a test kit, ultrasound, or blood tests, to identify the best time to inject the ovulation drugs. The sperm may be applied directly into the uterus or to the cervical opening and released with a catheter passed through a speculum at ovulation. The procedure involved in insemination is relatively quick and painless. It is performed in the doctor’s office, without anesthesia, and you are free to leave after it is performed.

If the insemination involves donor sperm, the sample is tested for any diseases and prepared at the sperm bank before it is sent to the doctor’s office for insemination. You should be aware that often couples who decide on donor insemination have conflicting emotions about issues such as choosing a donor and whether to tell the child conceived by the insemination.

If insemination is not successful, it is administered again in the next reproductive cycle. Success depends on many factors beyond your control, including the reason for infertility and the uterine environment. Most couples who have successful insemination do so within the first six cycles (6 months).