In order to conceive, a man’s sperm must travel up to the vagina, through the cervix, into the uterus, and into a fallopian tube where an egg is fertilized. Unfortunately, a man’s sperm is not always able to make this trip or a woman’s cervix may not allow the sperm to travel. When any of these issues arise, artificial insemination, a popular fertility treatment, may be recommended to assist a woman in conceiving. Here at Carolinas Fertility Institute, we may recommend artificial insemination if:
- A woman is under 35, has had six months of unprotected sex, and was not able to get pregnant.
- A woman is over 35 and has not been able to get pregnant after a year of unprotected sex.
Types of Artificial Insemination
The two types of artificial insemination include ICI and IUI. Let’s dive deeper into each one.
ICI involves inserting the sperm into the cervix, which is the passageway outside the uterus. A woman undergoing this treatment will monitor her ovulation cycle and/or take medications to induce ovulation. Their partner will then donate sperm so that a doctor can use a syringe to insert it into the woman’s vagina. A woman will lie down for 15 minutes to a half-hour so that the sperm can travel into the uterus. Once the treatment is complete, a woman will take a pregnancy test in a few weeks to determine whether ICI was successful.
In an IUI, the sperm is inserted past the cervix and directly into the uterus. The process for this procedure is similar to that of ICI. However, it includes additional steps. The semen will be prepared or washed to remove any proteins that may impair fertilization. This will allow the sperm to become more concentrated and increase a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Additionally, a doctor will use a speculum to make the uterus easier to access. It is a thin tool and will be inserted through the vagina so the sperm can be placed into the uterus.
A woman’s age, the use of fertility medications, and underlying fertility concerns all play a role in the success of ICI or IUI. After six treatment cycles, the pregnancy success rate for ICI is 37.9 percent. For IUI, the success rate is 40.5 after six treatments.
Contact Carolinas Fertility Institute
If you and your partner are having a difficult time getting pregnant, artificial insemination may be the solution you have been searching for. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more.