Artificial Insemination also known as Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) is a procedure whereby semen is introduced deliberately into either the cervix, fallopian tubes, or uterus of the woman.
It is a popular treatment that is used for men who have low sperm count or weak sperm, or women who have abnormalities with their reproductive organs.
Artificial Insemination consists of various phases:
1. Phase I – Ovarian stimulation
The first phase involves taking hormones to stimulate the ovaries which causes various follicles to develop. This enables more than one egg to be fertilized naturally. The hormone treatment lasts between 7-9 days depending upon the ovarian response of the patient. Although artificial insemination may be done during a natural cycle, the possibility of achieving pregnancy is increased with ovarian stimulation, and the risk of twins is around 15-20%.
2. Phase II – Semen capacitation
On the day of the procedure, a semen sample must be given approximately two hours before the scheduled time of insemination. The quality of the sample is analyzed and assessed, and to increase fertilizing capacity, only mobile sperm is selected and prepared..
3. Phase III – Insemination
The final phase is the actual insemination procedure which is fairly simple and similar to having a pap smear. It is usually done two days after ovulation has been induced. Insemination is a rapid and painless technique. No anesthesia is necessary. Following the procedure, you will be asked to rest in the same position for a few minutes, after which you may resume your normal daily activities.