Insemination is a simple assisted reproduction procedure involving placement of the adequately prepared sperm directly in the uterus. Insemination can be performed using partner (AIH) or donor (AID) sperm.
During the therapy, a patient usually undergoes hormonal stimulation to induce follicular growth and to harvest 1 to 3 mature follicles. Insemination can also be performed during a natural cycle without hormonal stimulation.
Stimulation involves administering medications, usually so-called gonadotropins. The procedure is controlled by ultrasound scans because while taking medications, the patients must be monitored for the progress of follicle(s) every couple of days. When the ovarian follicle(s) is/are adequately mature, the patient is given an ovulation triggering medication. After 24 to 36 hours, the insemination procedure is performed.
On the day of insemination, the partner provides a semen sample – via masturbation, following 3 to 7 days of sexual abstinence. The semen is properly prepared and placed in the uterus using a special insemination catheter.
Also, previously frozen and banked sperm of the partner or an anonymous donor can be used for insemination.
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Insemination is painless and the procedure is performed without anaesthesia. The doctor monitors the insemination procedure with ultrasound guidance.
Effectiveness of insemination is lower than that of in vitro fertilisation and its rate is usually between ten and twenty percent. The actual effectiveness can be assessed following 3 procedures.
The patient receives progesterone therapy for 10 consecutive days. This is so-called luteal supplementation that aims to facilitate embryo implantation and to support early pregnancy. Then, an HCG blood test and a consultation with the patient’s doctor are indicated to discuss further management.