Artificial Insemination (AI) can be performed either with your partner’s sperm (HAI) or donor sperm (DAI) due to severe abnormalities in your partner’s sperm or in cases of single women.
In either case, CAI or DAI, the technique involves introducing sperm, previously examined and prepared in the laboratory, into the uterine cavity using a small cannula which is inserted through the cervix with the patient in the gynecological position (same as when performing a Pap smear test). It is a painless procedure, carried out in the consultation room; it does not require any sedation or anesthesia. Once performed the patient can return to normal life and must wait fourteen days to take a pregnancy test.
This technique has a 20 -25% pregnancy rate per cycle, and a risk of multiple pregnancies (usually twins) of approximately 15%.
In practice, its main inconvenient is that we only get information on the ovarian response to stimulation and semen quality the day of insemination. Once the semen has been introduced into the uterine cavity we do not have any parameters to see if fertilization of the ovum occurs, or of course on the quality of a potential embryo.
In most cases, if after three cycles of AI a pregnancy has not been achieved, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is recommended.
Artificial insemination can be performed, depending on each case, either in a spontaneous ovulatory cycle, after ultrasound monitoring, or by stimulating ovulation to achieve more than one mature egg, using ultrasound monitoring and medication (gonadotrophins) subcutaneously for a period of about twelve days.