Artificial insemination serves as a life line for many couples that suffer from infertility issues while trying to get pregnant.
The procedure entails injecting sperm directly into a woman’s uterus,fallopian tubes, or cervix. The direct injection makes it more likely the sperm will fertilize the egg because of the shorter distance they have to travel and the elimination of barriers.
Artificial insemination does not treat all types of infertility. It is a very popular method for men who have abnormal or slow traveling sperm that have difficulty making it to the egg. It is also a good way to treat women who have unresponsive cervical mucus. Women who have this condition have a difficult time getting pregnant because their cervical mucus actually creates a hostile environment that attacks the sperm killing it off before it reaches the egg.
Before you undergo artificial insemination your doctor will need to make sure you are ovulating. To check ovulation they will use blood tests, ovulation kits, or an ultrasound. Once ovulation is confirmed the doctor will need a sperm sample immediately. Most clinics have a private room where your partner can produce the sample.
After the semen sample is produced it is washed and the most active sperm are separated out in a laboratory. The sperm is then placed in a tube and injected. Artificial insemination is relatively painless with the majority of women having no uncomfortable side effects. A small percentage report light cramping or vaginal bleeding.
After the sperm in injected you will be asked to lay down for 30-45 minutes giving the sperm an opportunity to reach their destination. After that you will be released and can resume your normal activities.
In some instances your doctor may have you take commonly used fertility drugs such as Clomid, especially if there are factors that can decrease your chance of pregnancy such as:
• Over 35 years of age
• Sperm abnormality
• Poor egg quality
• Damaged fallopian tubes due to infection
If you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant for 12 consecutive months it may be time to see a fertility expert and discuss the possibility of artificial insemination. It is a simple procedure and has helped millions of couples achieve their dream of starting a family.