Artificial insemination is a procedure that can treat male and female infertility. In intrauterine insemination, the man's sperm are directly inserted into the woman's uterus. This prevents any complications the sperm may have in reaching the uterus. This makes the trip shorter for the sperm and bypasses any possible obstructions. Ideally, it makes pregnancy possible where it wasn't before. IUI is the most common form of artificial insemination. This may be a good choice when the man's sperm count is low or when the woman has endometriosis. Some obstacle to success includes a woman's older age, poor egg or sperm quality, or severe fallopian tube damage. During IUI, doctor will place washed, prepared sperm into your uterus and near to your egg at your time of ovulation. This procedure is often combined with fertility drugs to increase your chances of conceiving.
Though the pregnancy rates for women undergoing artificial insemination may not be as high as they are for some more advanced techniques, this technique has a key advantage: It's a simple procedure with few side effects. For those reasons, doctor may recommend it as an initial form of treatment for infertility.
Artificial insemination can be used for many kinds of fertility problems. It's a popular infertility treatment for men who have very low sperm counts or sperm that aren't strong enough to swim through the cervix and up into the fallopian tubes. Artificial insemination is also sometimes an option for women who have endometriosis or abnormalities of any of their reproductive organs.
Women with "unreceptive cervical mucus" are also good candidates for artificial insemination. In these women, the mucus surrounding the cervix is hostile to sperm and prevents sperm from getting into the uterus and fallopian tubes. Artificial insemination allows the sperm to skip the cervical mucus entirely. Doctors also often suggest artificial insemination when they cannot determine the reason a couple is infertile.
Success rates for artificial insemination vary. Factors that lessen your chance of success include:
- Older age of the woman
- Poor egg quality
- Poor sperm quality
- Severe endometriosis
- Severe damage to fallopian tubes
- Blockage of fallopian tubes
Success rates depend on the cause and severity of the infertility and your age.
- 16 % if you are under 35
- 11 % if you are between 35 and 39
- 5 % if you are between 40 and 42
- 3% per cent if you are between 43 and 44
- 1% per cent if you are over 44