Artificial insemination (AI) is one of the simplest ways to address several types of female and male infertility, as well as to start non-traditional families. Below, we’ll explore some of the most common uses of artificial insemination, as well as how it is typically performed.
AI can be used as a first-line treatment for a number of fertility problems. Here are some common uses of the procedure:
- Surrogacy – When a surrogate’s own eggs are used, artificial insemination is a less expensive alternative to in vitro fertilization (IVF).
- Low sperm count or motility – If issues with the husband’s sperm are detected, artificial insemination may be effective because it involves concentrating healthy, active sperm before the insemination process.
- Cervix issues – If the cervix is scarred or otherwise affected by a fertility issue, insemination can allow the doctor to place the sperm past the cervix, directly in the uterus, providing a better chance of pregnancy.
- Undiagnosed infertility – In many cases, the exact cause of infertility is never determined. This procedure may be recommended as a treatment for undiagnosed infertility.
- Non-traditional families – Single women and same-sex couples may use AI to start their families.
How it Works
During AI, the woman carefully follows her menstrual cycle to identify when she is ovulating; a urine test may be used to confirm ovulation. The insemination will be performed just before or during ovulation, which is a woman’s most fertile period.
The man will provide a sperm sample for the procedure, typically by masturbating. The sample is then put into a centrifuge, which separates out healthy, active sperm from low-quality sperm and seminal proteins.
The washed sperm is now ready to be placed directly in the woman’s uterus, a procedure known as intrauterine insemination (IUI). Although it is technically possible to perform AI by placing the sperm in the vagina only, IUI is preferred because it provides a much higher chance of success at a cost that is not dramatically higher.
To schedule a consultation about whether or not this fertility treatment is right for you, please give us a call at (212) 369-8700 or click below and we will get right back to you.