Artificial insemination is one of the most cost-effective ways to address both male and female infertility. In fact, it is often one of the first treatments used to treat many types of infertility. Although the process behind artificial insemination is relatively simple, the treatment itself can greatly increase the chances of pregnancy. Artificial insemination consists of two main steps: sperm washing and intrauterine insemination.
To get started, a sperm specimen is collected from the husband or the donor. The sample is then placed in a centrifuge, which separates high-quality, motile sperm from seminal proteins and lower quality sperm. This helps to concentrate healthy sperm in men with low sperm count; the sperm concentration also increases the chances of conception for women with fertility issues.
Once washed, sperm can be placed directly in the uterus without issue using a procedure called intrauterine insemination (IUI). During this procedure, the sperm is injected through the cervix into the uterus. This ensures that a maximum number of sperm actually enter the uterus, giving them a greater chance of success.
For couples using IUI for infertility, the success rate lies somewhere between 5-20% depending on the age and health quality of both partners. The success rate may be higher for people using artificial insemination for reasons other than infertility.
Who is a Candidate?
You may be a good candidate for this procedure if you have been trying to get pregnant for a year or longer without success, or for six months or longer if you are over 35. Same-sex couples and single women also frequently use IUI.
Husband or Donor Sperm?
People using IUI can use either husband sperm, or donor sperm. Same-sex couples and single women may also choose to use donor sperm and artificial insemination to start a family. Donor sperm is a good choice if the husband has very poor sperm quality, or if past IUI cycles have been unsuccessful due to male infertility. Many people successfully use husband sperm during IUI as well.
Dr. Hugh Melnick would be happy to help you decide which fertility treatment is right for you, and start you on the road to treatment. To schedule a consultation today, please give us a call at (212) 369-8700 or click below and we will get right back to you.