Secrets About Artificial Insemination

Published: 31st March 2011
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Anybody considering undergoing IVF treatment to help them conceive does so with reservations, because everybody wants to believe they can conceive naturally. In today’s society the trend to start families later in life means there will be a greater need for fertility treatments such as IVF treatment to achieve that dream.

The good news is, while IVF treatment if a highly successful and well-known form of assisted conception, it is not the only option. Other less invasive techniques such as artificial insemination provide alternative paths to pregnancy, and depending on the age and circumstances of the individual, many IVF fertility specialists will recommend artificial insemination in the first instance. This approach is often welcomed by many women who also prefer to start with simpler and less invasive procedures such as artificial insemination before moving onto more complicated and involved procedures, such as IVF treatment.

Artificial insemination, commonly referred to as intrauterine insemination, is a simple form of treatment, and there are pros and cons of artificial insemination that your IVF fertility specialist will discuss with you. For example artificial insemination is a more affordable option for many people, however while the lower cost of insemination is appealing, it is important to remember that the insemination success rate is much lower than in standard IVF.

Artificial insemination involving inserting the male partner’s concentrated semen through the neck of the womb and into the uterus close to the time of ovulation. While artificial insemination is not a suitable treatment for everybody, it may be recommended when there is a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, when the woman’s fallopian tubes are healthy, when a woman has a milk form of endometriosis and when the woman is under the age of 40 years.

Artificial insemination is also used in the case of donor sperm insemination for single women or same sex couples. Donor insemination clinics are generally IVF providers who offer a donor sperm program, and this can either be clinic recruited (where the clinic provides the individual/couple with an anonymous donor) or recipient recruited (where the donor is known to the individual/couple).

The artificial insemination procedure does not require anaesthetic, and is similar to having a pap smear. A soft plastic tube (the artificial insemination catheter) is gently passed through the neck of the womb. A drop of the 'washed', concentrated semen is inserted through this tube into the uterus. This procedure is usually not painful, though occasionally some mild cramping and discomfort occurs. After the artificial insemination procedure you can get up immediately, return to work and go about your normal daily routine.

The artificial insemination procedure may be used with ‘natural timed intercourse’ or in combination with hormone-stimulating medication. The most successful form of IUI uses subcutaneous (just under the skin) injections of the hormone FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone). In this situation, close monitoring via blood tests and ultrasounds is required to assess the development of follicles and potential eggs.

The average cost of artificial insemination varies between $1,500 - $2,500 depending on the IVF provider, and more than $600 is able to be claimed through Medicare.

While many people may find the cost of intrauterine insemination appealing, many people, especially those of mature maternal age will be disappointed at the artificial insemination success rate. Although this will vary depending on their circumstances, on average, patients can expect a 10-20% chance of success per treatment cycle using artificial insemination. In comparison, IVF treatment has a 10 – 55% chance of success.

We are lucky that in today’s society IVF success rates are better than ever before, with better media for culturing embryos and improved techniques to select those most likely to develop healthily, however in reality not everyone will walk away with a baby.

With this in mind, many IVF fertility specialists will advise patients not to consider fertility treatment as an ‘insurance policy’, but to think about starting a family earlier while their fertility is still high, and not to wait more than six months if they are over 35, or 12 months if they’re under 35, to seek help to conceive.

Human artificial insemination is part if the IVF treatment process. To learn all about what is ivf treatment visit out website at

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