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Artificial insemination is a technique used in couples with problems such as when sperm has a mild motility problem, when the sperm count is a little low, if the cause of infertility is due to a cervical factor, in cases of ovulation problems and when there is Unexplained Infertility. It is important to choose the patients that undergo artificial insemination carefully. Women over 38 achieve very low pregnancy rates.
This technique can be performed using the partner’s sperm or donor sperm. The success rate using the partner’s sperm is approximately 10%-15% for each try. The success rate with donor semen is 15%-20% for each try.
The process consists of 3 phases:
- Ovarian stimulation: in this first phase, medication is administered that helps the ovaries develop a follicle or two. Inside each follicle is an egg. When one or two follicles measure 17 mm or more, an hCG hormone injection is prescribed and insemination is performed 36 hours later.
- Sperm sample: several hours before the insemination, the man brings a sperm sample to the lab. Sperm capacitation is performed. This technique is used to obtain a semen sample rich in motile spermatozoa and without seminal plasma or cell remains.
- Insemination: this is the last phase. The patient lies in gynaecological position and a speculum is placed in the vagina. The doctor then inserts a catheter into the uterus and introduces the capacitated semen into the uterus.
One of the risks of artificial insemination with stimulation is when hyperstimulation occurs, that is when too many follicles develop. This usually happens when the patient is very sensitive to the medication administered. In this case, hCG is not administered to mature the follicles and the cycle is cancelled. The patient is further advised to use contraceptive methods to avoid multiple pregnancy. When hCG is not administered the risks that can lead to risky symptoms caused by hyperstimulation are greatly reduced.