What does it consist of?
Artificial insemination is one of the less complex assisted reproduction treatments. It is, in fact, the closest technique to natural fertilization. It consists of depositing a semen sample, from the partner or a donor, in the woman’s uterus. Although, to increase the chances of success, an ovarian stimulation is previously performed on the patient and the best sperm are selected in the laboratory.
Artificial insemination is a painless and much less invasive procedure than other assisted reproduction techniques.
Depending on the origin of the semen sample, there are two types:
- IUI-C (Intrauterine Insemination with sperm of the Spouse). The seminal sample comes from the partner of the patient. In this case, the probability of pregnancy is around 20-25%.
- IUI-D (Intrauterine Insemination with donor sperm). The semen comes from a gamete bank. The success rate is around 30-35%.
When is it indicated?
IUI-C is indicated in the following cases:
- Slight or moderate alterations in sperm quality.
- Alterations of ovulation.
- Alterations in the cervix of the woman.
- Difficulties or coital impossibility.
- In young couples with unknown causes of sterility.
IUI-D is indicated in the following cases:
- Severe alterations in sperm quality.
- Azoospermia (complete absence of sperm).
- Certain genetic disorders of the male that can be transmitted to the offspring and cannot be avoided through embryo selection.
Treatment begins with ovarian stimulation of the woman. To do this, drugs that enhance the growth of follicles (where future eggs develop) are used. This phase lasts about 10-12 days and the aim is to increase the chances of success, as it ensures the proper development and maturity of the egg.
Monitoring of follicular development
During the ovarian stimulation treatment, we will perform regular checks, using vaginal ultrasounds and if necessary, hormonal analysis, all this to check the follicular maturation and schedule the ideal time for insemination.
Preparation of the seminal sample
It is necessary to prepare the semen sample to achieve an optimal concentration of mobile sperm that have the ability to fertilize the egg.
The semen sample is obtained by the male by simple masturbation, in his home or in our center, the same day of the insemination. There is also the possibility of using a previously cryopreserved sample.
In cases where the use of donor semen is indicated, this sample will always be frozen and stored in our semen bank. In both cases, our biologists will treat it in the laboratory with a process known as sperm training, so that we can select the sperm with the best mobility.
It is time to deposit the selected semen sample inside the uterus. The process is performed in the clinic itself; it is painless and does not require either anesthesia or sedation. The specialist will use a thin and flexible catheter, being a very simple and fast procedure.
After insemination you have to wait a period of about 15 days, known as “beta-waiting”. During this time the specialist may recommend the administration of progesterone or some other medication, to promote pregnancy. It is normal to recommend a normal life, limiting only the activities of high physical intensity.
After the “beta-waiting” period (14-15 days after insemination), a blood pregnancy test will be done. We will look for the presence of the hormone β-hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is the hormone produced by the embryo after its implantation in the endometrium.
If the beta test was positive, two weeks later we will perform an ultrasound, to confirm the presence of “gestational sac” inside the uterus and observe the heartbeat of your future baby.