What is Intrauterine Insemination (IAC/IAD)?
Artificial Insemination is one of the oldest assisted reproduction treatments and it is usually not recommended because it has a low success rate.
This technique consists of placing sperm into the uterine cavity of the patient on the appropriate day of her cycle, having confirmed the permeability of her tubes.
If the male partner sample shows no sperm or a very low sperm count, donor sperm can be substituted.
When is Artificial Insemination recommended?
The artificial insemination (or intra-uterine insemination) treatment is recommended in the following cases:
- The couple has tried to conceive for at least a year, but there are no medical reasons for their infertility
- Sperm mobility is reduced or sperm count is low
- The woman has a hostile cervical mucus
- The couple is suffering from sexual disfunction
- The Fallopian Tubes are blocked
Artificial Insemination Phases
The treatment is very simple; the woman has to take medication to stimulate her ovaries, this increases egg development. She is monitored with ultrasounds scans to control follicle sizes. The gynaecologist will fix the time for insemination: the semen sample is then transferred to the laboratory where it will be processed. Using a catheter the sperm is directly placed into the uterus. This procedure maximises the number of sperm in the uterus, therefore increasing the chances of positive pregnancies.
- OVARIC STIMULATION
- The women needs to take medication (hormones) which will stimulate the ovaries so that they produce various ovocites during the cycle
- Ultrasound scans are done constantly to follow the evolution and growth of the ovocites
- Blood samples will be taken once or twice to control estradiol and verify the maturity of the eggs
- SPERM SAMPLE COLLECTION
- When the doctor observes that the eggs are mature, an sperm sample is collected
- The sperm sample is taken to the laboratory. The sample is then processed to make sure it has a high viability by checking the quality of the spermatozoids
- ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION
- The sperm sample is introduced in the uterus using a catheter. The maximum number of spermatozoids are placed in the uterus to maximise the probability of pregnancy
- PREGNANCY TEST
- After 7 or 12 days a blood sample will be taken to do a pregnancy test and confirm if pregnancy has been achieved
The success rate is between 15% and 20% per cycle. The age of the woman is an important factor. Woman less than 35 years have a higher success rate.