What is artificial insemination?
Artificial insemination is a technique whereby a sperm sample prepared in the laboratory is introduced into the uterine cavity during ovulation. Ovarian induction or ovarian stimulation is generally carried out beforehand in order to improve follicular growth, and increase the chances of achieving pregnancy.
Types of artificial insemination.
We speak of conjugal artificial insemination (CAI) when the sperm is provided by the couple, and artificial insemination by donor (AID) when it comes from a donor. In this case it can be performed without prior hormonal treatment.
How is artificial insemination carried out?
From the initial days of the cycle onwards ultrasound scans and tests are carried out to monitor follicular growth. When the follicle reaches pre-ovulatory size, medication will be administered (HCGr) which induces the peak in LH necessary for final maturation and ovulation 36 hours later, which is when the artificial insemination will be scheduled for. At the time of insemination, a vaginal speculum is used to visualise the neck of the uterus, and a catheter then channels the sperm into the interior of the uterus.
When is conjugal artificial insemination advised?
- Sterility for unknown reasons over a short period (less than 2 years).
- Low sperm count.
- Young patients (under 37).
- Permeable fallopian tubes (at least one).
- Sperm sample with a low percentage of motile sperm (REM ≥ 5M).
When is AID advised?
When a semen sample from a sperm bank has to be used. This can happen for different reasons:
- Single women.
- Women with a female partner.
- The absence of sperm in the semen (azoospermia) and testicular failure.
- Men who are carriers of certain hereditary diseases that can be transmitted to their offspring, and that cannot be excluded by other means.
What is the likelihood of achieving pregnancy?
The likelihood is lower than with IVF – between 10% and 20% – as it is a simple, relatively uncomplicated procedure.
Always depending on the age of the woman, and the particular patient in question, no more than 3 or 4 attempts are advised. However, in the case of AID the chances of achieving pregnancy are higher, and up to 6 attempts can be made before starting to look at other techniques.
How can an artificial insemination treatment be organised if I don’t live in Barcelona?
Not living in Barcelona is not a problem at all. That said, an initial appointment at our centre is essential so that we can assess your full medical history, and advise on the correct treatment for you. Once the treatment is underway, medical check ups can take place outside Barcelona, as long as they are carried out by an experienced gynaecologist. Our medical team will assess the information received, and will adjust medication as necessary throughout. The artificial insemination will take place at our day centre.