What is Artificial Insemination?

If you have been looking into the field of infertility treatment you will probably have heard of a technique called artificial insemination. This terms is actually a broad one referring to a number of specific techniques that all involve artificially introducing sperm into a woman’s anatomy to fertilise her egg. There are many ways by which this end can be achieved, and different forms of artificial insemination look to explore them, thereby yielding different results and providing you with a choice when it comes to treating your own form of infertility. Artificial Insemination is also now being broadly used by same sex couples and single mums to allow them the opportunity to get pregnant and bear children.

What kinds of artificial insemination are there?

There are a number of different approaches to artificial insemination, all of which vary in terms of where sperm is placed within the female tract. Each of these variations do share one thing in common however, the principle underlying the treatment is to place sperm in a place where male sex cells have easy access to an egg. The different types of artificial insemination are:

  • Intra-cervical insemination – the easiest method of artificial insemination which involves placing sperm high within the cervix.
  • Intrauterine insemination – where sperm is in fact removed from semen and injected into the uterus (the womb) near the time of ovulation when eggs are released.
  • Intrauterine tuboperitonial insemination – where the insemination fluid is used to fill both the uterus and the fallopian tubes, structures which link the womb to your ovaries.
  • Intra-tubal insemination – involves placing sperm within the fallopian tube, although this is now not practiced as often as studies have determined it offers little to no benefit when compared to intra-uterine insemination.

Disadvantages to artificial insemination

Using any method of artificial insemination relies on sperm’s ability to make it to its target egg cells. Therefore artificial insemination isn’t a viable option for couples where there male infertility compromises the quality of sperm being used.

Sperm motility, morphology, and count are all critical factors in both natural and artificial insemination, when any of these is compromised for whatever reason, artificial insemination is no longer a viable option.

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