Artificial Insemination

Natural Conception with a Little Help

Artificial insemination has been around for decades; however its beginnings were significantly cruder than the artificial insemination that is performed today. Today's procedures include washing the sperm, separating the most healthy sperm for insemination and having a professional insert the sperm into the uterus in order to have the best chances at becoming pregnant. The procedure is now known as intrauterine insemination, or IUI. While artificial insemination has been very successful for many couples, it is not for everyone. There are certain couples who are better candidates for artificial insemination.

Women with a sperm allergy generally find artificial insemination a successful way to become pregnant. Also, if a man has a low sperm count or his sperm has low motility, meaning it can't travel very far, then the sperm can be collected, cleaned, separated and inserted into the uterus to increase the chances of conception. Of course, there are couples with other problems who will qualify for artificial insemination as well. The best thing to do is talk to your doctor have complete physicals, and create a plan of action. If artificial insemination is part of that plan of action you should know how it works.

While all artificial insemination cases might be a little different, in general they are all the same. First, the woman begins taking a drug to stimulate her ovaries that allows her to produce several mature eggs during one cycle. The reasoning behind this is the more ripe eggs produced the more likely fertilization of at least one will occur. Sometimes all are fertilized, sometimes one, and sometimes none. It is a gambling process and the more eggs the more likely at least one baby will be the result. Then, the woman must monitor her body with the help of her doctor in order to detect the actual time of ovulation. As soon as the body begins ovulating the man and woman immediately go to the doctor's office where the man will produce a sperm sample for insemination. His sperm will be washed and the healthiest sperm separated and placed in a sterile liquid solution. Then, the woman will have the sperm inserted directly into her uterus via a catheter, which puts the sperm and eggs in the same place at the same time. So, this way, fertilization of the egg can take place naturally and inside the body. Although this seems like a surefire way to get pregnant most couples have two to seven rounds of artificial insemination before a pregnancy occurs or before their doctor suggest another type of treatment.

Most of the time couples start out with artificial insemination because it is not invasive or as expensive as many of the other types of treatments and can be performed in under an hour. Plus, the conception process is natural, which is what most couples prefer. The price of one artificial insemination sessions can cost between $250- $800 or more depending on the doctor, where you live and other considerations. Some insurance policies cover all or at least a part of artificial insemination procedures; however some do not and in these instances the couple is required to pay for the procedure up front. As a result, this can become an expensive process over several months time.

Whether you become pregnant or not using artificial insemination depends on a lot of factors and the average success rates are between 5 and 25%. This is discouraging for most couples, but if the woman takes fertility drugs she will have closer to a 25% chance of conceiving. While this still seems low, it mean that one out of every four woman conceive with artificial insemination. Because of this, many couples try up to seven or eight cycles with artificial insemination before moving on to more drastic procedures.