Artificial insemination (AI) is a procedure that involves the sperm being inserted into the women’s cervix to increase the chances of conception. It is frequently used as a way to treat infertility when couples are not able to conceive naturally.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately six percent of women between 15 and 44 years of age can’t get pregnant with their spouse on their own within one year of having unprotected sex. If you are having difficulty, here are some things to know about the AI procedure.
The first part of artificial insemination, also referred to as occurs when your New York fertility clinic runs a series of exams. This includes a physical exam for both you and your partner or the sperm donor. A sperm analysis test is also done with the donor or male partner to ensure they have viable sperm. The count (i.e. volume), motility, sperm concentration, and morphology are all tested of the sperm. If abnormal results are seen with the initial sperm analysis, a repeat test might be done, or you might be referred to a reproductive urologist specialist for a consultation.
Once the tests are done, you will then start with the fertility drugs and monitoring. You will need to take fertility drugs before the procedure to ensure you ovulate. This gives you a much better chance at conceiving through AI. You will be monitored while taking the drugs so the doctor knows if they are working and can determine if and when you will ovulate.
Preparing the Semen Sample
Your partner will provide a semen sample when you are getting ready to start the insemination procedure. He will need to abstain from any sexual activity for a few days before giving the sample. It is usually obtained in the fertility clinic, though if you live close to the clinic, he may be able to produce the sample at home. Once the clinic receives it, the sperm is washed to remove anything that will affect the fertilization process.
Going Through the AI Procedure
When you are about to ovulate, it is time to get the AI procedure. The procedure itself only takes about 30 minutes. A thin catheter is used to insert the sperm into your uterus. The procedure feels similar to getting a pap smear, though you may have a little more cramping following this procedure. This artifical insemination procedure is usually done around the time of ovulation or just after ovulation, since the sperm are bypassing the long journey from cervix to uterus.
Talk to us here at New York Reproductive Wellness, your local fertility clinic NYC, about artificial insemination if you are struggling to conceive on your own.