Artificial insemination (AI) refers to the technique of placing sperm directly into a woman's reproductive tract.
Artificial insemination (AI) is usually performed for couples with infertility due to a problem with male fertility. However, studies have shown that it enhances the pregnancy rate in couples with unexplained infertility when combined with ovulation enhancement. It also may enhance the per-cycle pregnancy rate in other types of infertility, except bilateral tubal disease.
IUI is the most common type of AI performed. In this procedure, sperm with a higher percentage of motile forms are isolated and placed high into the uterus using a small catheter. By placing sperm directly into the uterus, the number of sperm that may potentially meet an egg is greatly increased. During intercourse, for every 14 million sperm deposited into a women's vagina, only one to 10 reach the fallopian tube.
The sperm must be prepared prior to an IUI because the chemicals in the semen will cause cramping in women. The process of preparing the sperm usually takes about two hours. After the process, the specimen is stable for a few hours when kept at 37 degrees Celsius.
In cases of severe male factor (a fertility problem with the male partner), ejaculation issues or absent male partner, insemination may be performed with donor sperm. There are a number of reputable sperm banks where you can choose from detailed characteristics among the donors. When choosing a sperm bank, make sure to look for one that adequately prescreens donors, especially in regards to genetic and virology testing. In addition, donors need to be screened again six months after giving specimens for virally transmitted infections (for example, HIV) before the frozen specimen is released.
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Clomid and IUI have an 8 to 10 percent success rate per cycle for unexplained infertility of three years duration, with an 8 percent chance of multiples. Side effects of clomid are usually mild and include the possibility of mood changes, hot flashes, headaches, vaginal dryness or thinning of the endometrial lining. If you experience visual disturbances such as spots, contact your physician and discontinue the medication.
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Gonadotropin and IUI cycle have a 15 to 18 percent success rate per cycle for unexplained infertility of three years duration and a 15 percent chance of multiples (including higher order multiples).
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