Artificial insemination involves inserting sperm into the uterine cavity. This sperm can come from a partner or a donor sperm bank. Usually, this is performed on patients with a low sperm count and can dramatically increase the chances of pregnancy.
Artificial insemination (AI) at our Beverly Hills and Los Angeles-area fertility clinics is one of the most popular infertility treatments offered by Dr. Sam Najmabadi and the team at the Center for Reproductive Health & Gynecology. Artificial insemination (AI) involves collecting and processing semen and placing it directly into the woman’s vagina, cervical canal, or uterine cavity. Sperm may be from the husband, male partner (AIH), or from a donor (DI). The reasons for using artificial insemination include both male and female factors. Male factors include abnormal semen analysis (low count, motility, or % normal morphology), impotence, sexual dysfunction, and retrograde ejaculation. Female factors include hormonal deficiencies, sexual dysfunction and congenital abnormalities of the vagina and cervix.
Artificial Insemination Procedures
In preparation for and during artificial insemination treatment, doctors closely monitor the woman’s menstrual cycle. When her body is ready for implantation, the male participant provides doctors with semen. This semen is then “washed” to remove any harmful chemicals which may hinder conception. The semen is inserted into the woman in the hopes that she will conceive.
What is Intrauterine Insemination?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment in which washed sperm are placed directly into the uterus. Intrauterine insemination bypasses the cervix and improves the delivery of sperm to the egg, thereby increasing the chances of pregnancy.
In most cases, AI is performed by intrauterine insemination (IUI), where the semen is placed into the uterus through a catheter. In order to increase the number of eggs available, IUI is usually used in combination with controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. IUI can be a successful treatment for some forms of infertility and may be a good alternative to in vitro fertilization (IVF) for some couples. IUI is an option for couples with unexplained infertility and for couples where the male has sperm problems.
Intracervical insemination, the earliest form of artificial insemination, became popular in the 1970s. With intracervical insemination, sperm is deposited directly into the cervix. This relatively quick and painless procedure makes it easier for the sperm to travel through the uterus and fallopian tubes so that it can fertilize the egg.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) at our Los Angeles-area fertility clinics is the most popular form of artificial insemination. If it is decided that an intrauterine insemination (IUI) is appropriate for you and you decide to proceed with treatment, Dr. Najmabadi will help you plan your IUI cycle. There are different types of IUI cycles: an un-medicated IUI, an IUI with the addition of Clomid (CC) and an IUI that utilizes a combination of injectable medications (hMG). There are many steps involved in this process, but try not to become too overwhelmed, that’s why we are here. Together, we will discuss what you can expect throughout the treatment process.
The IUI Procedure
A semen sample is provided one to two hours before intrauterine insemination is to be performed. Intrauterine insemination can be performed with the partner’s sperm or with donor sperm. The semen is then washed (sperm is separated from the seminal fluid) and the sperm quality is analyzed. Now it is ready to be inseminated, which only takes a few minutes and causes little to no discomfort.
During the intrauterine insemination procedure, a small catheter is inserted into the uterine cavity and the sperm is injected directly into the uterus. The patient should be able to resume normal activity immediately after the intrauterine insemination procedure. If the intrauterine insemination is unsuccessful, it may be repeated during the following cycles.
When is Intrauterine Insemination Recommended?
Intrauterine insemination is often recommended for couples that have been trying to conceive for at least one year with no explanation for their infertility. Intrauterine insemination may also be recommended for any of the following:
- A low sperm count (but no less then 10 million/ml)
- While going through a Clomid cycle (Clomid/IUI)
- When being treated with injectable fertility drugs (hMG or FSH/IUI)
- Bad sperm mobility
- Same sex couples
- Single women
- When donor sperm is used
- The couple has been diagnosed with sexual dysfunction
- Cervix conditions, such as cervical mucus that is too thick