Artificial insemination allows fertilization to take place naturally. It is the introduction of healthy sperm in the vagina of a woman with the aim of achieving a pregnancy. When sperm is inserted into the uterus, it should find its way to the mature egg and penetrate it on its own just as it would happen in traditional pregnancy. The big difference and advantage of artificial insemination is that the sperm travels a shorter distance, and therefore the chances of finding a mature egg for later fertilization are increased.
Normally, with this technique, out of 100 insemination cycles 13 result in gestation; that is, it produces a pregnancy rate of 13%. To undergo a cycle of artificial insemination a series of tests should be performed to confirm that the fallopian tubes are permeable and that the semen is of good quality (if you are using the sperm of the male partner). You should also consider other factors such as the age of the woman, the period of time the couple have been struggling with infertility, and number of cycles with previous artificial insemination to decide whether to perform a new cycle of artificial insemination or if it is more advisable to undergo a more complex technique, such as an in vitro fertilization.
We can identify two types of artificial insemination:
• Homologous artificial insemination or HAI: the male partner’s sperm is used.
• Artificial insemination using donor sperm from an anonymous donor. A donor resembling the male partner who cannot use his sperm is sought. If it is a single woman, the same procedure is performed. In countries like the US, sperm banks provide more information about sperm donors. The donation can be anonymous, but you can obtain more medical information from the donor, their immediate family, information about their studies, their religion, their hobbies, etc.
Artificial insemination consists of three phases:
• Hormonal ovarian stimulation to increase the number of mature oocytes.
• Sperm preparation, selecting and concentrating the mobile spermatozoa.
• Insemination of women, which is carried out at the medical centre. After the insemination, the woman will need to rest for about 20 minutes, and then she will be able to go home.