Q: What is Artificial Insemination and how does it work?
A: There are different kinds of Artificial Insemination (AI) listed below. This article will focus on Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI).
- Intrauterine (in the uterine cavity)
- Intrafollicular (in the ovarian follicle)
- Intratubal (in the fallopian tubes)
IUI stands for Intra-Uterine Insemination. In the first step of IUI the ejaculate is obtained through masturbation, and it is often washed is a special way to remove other substances. The sperm are then placed in a syringe. A speculum is placed into the vagina, and a catheter, a small tube, is passed through the cervix and into the uterine cavity. The syringe is attached to the catheter and the sperm are then injected directly into the uterus. Usually the insemination itself takes about several minutes and causes little, if any, discomfort. Following IUI, most women will likely be asked to remain lying down with hips elevated for about 45 minutes.
Of the four different types of AI, intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the most commonly used form. IUI is useful if there is insufficient or hostile cervical mucus, or low sperm count or motility. IUI allows sperm to bypass the cervix without encountering "unfriendly" cervical mucus which could "inactivate" them. IUI is helpful for low sperm count or motility because only about 1% of the total number of sperm deposited into the vagina at ejaculation will find their way into the upper female genital tract. IUI places the healthiest sperm into the female genital tract to increase the likelihood that one of those sperm will fertilize an egg.
READ HERE about the indications for AI