One of the earliest forms of infertility intervention, artifical insemination — also known as intrauterine insemination — is still a commonly used treatment to facilitate pregnancy at fertility clinics in New York City. During this technique, a man’s sperm are inserted into a woman’s reproductive organs to allow for fertilization. Unlike other forms of infertility treatment (such as in vitro fertilization), artificial insemination is a simple, relatively non-invasive procedure that makes it a popular first intervention for those trying to become pregnant.
The Artificial Insemination Procedure
To be effective, artificial insemination must be performed when a woman is ovulating. Your New York fertility clinic doctor may use blood tests or an ovulation kit to ensure that ovulation is occurring at the time of insemination. Prior to ovulation, the male partner is asked to refrain from sexual activity resulting in ejaculation for two to five days before the appointment, ensuring that the best quality sperm is used for the procedure.
After collecting the sperm sample, it is sent to a laboratory to be “washed,” which removes certain chemicals from the semen and separates out the most active sperm. This enhanced semen sample is placed into the uterus through a thin catheter. For most women, the procedure is reminiscent of a Pap smear and is relatively pain-free. Following insertion of the semen, you may be asked to lie down for 30 to 45 minutes to increase sperm motility toward the egg.
Types of Infertility Treated by Artificial Insemination
Artificial insemination is not an effective treatment for every type of infertility, although many couples enjoy high success with this method. Your doctor at Neway Fertility clinic NYC may suggest it for the following infertility problems:
- Low sperm count.
- Poor sperm quality. Sperm that aren’t robust enough to travel through the vagina, into the cervix, and up the Fallopian tubes are unlikely to result in successful fertilization. Placement of these sperm directly into the uterus enhances outcomes.
- Endometriosis. Women suffering from endometriosis may benefit from artificial insemination.
- Women with unreceptive cervical mucus. When the mucus in the cervical area is hostile to sperm, even high-quality sperm are unable to reach the Fallopian tubes. Artificial insemination bypasses the cervix to increase reproductive success.
Success Rates for Artificial Insemination
Success of the procedure depends on your age and type of fertility problem. Artificial insemination tends to be less successful for older women, men with poor sperm quality, women with poor egg quality, women with severe endometriosis or damage to the Fallopian tubes. However, taking fertility drugs such as Clomid significantly increase the likelihood of successful pregnancy. These induce “superovulation,” in which multiple eggs are released during each fertility cycle.