By Helena Mag
Artificial Insemination (abbreviated AI) is the opposite of natural insemination – which occurs through sexual intercourse. AI is a condition where the sperm is inserted directly into a woman’s cervix, fallopian tubes or uterus.
Two common types of AI are: Intracervical Insemination (ICI), used in the home for self insemination without the assistance of a medical practitioner and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), where the sperm is inserted into the uterus by a Medical Professional. AI makes it shorter and easier for the sperm to travel without any possible obstructions, hereby increasing the chances of pregnancy.
AI is more expensive than natural insemination and may require professional assistance. Though pregnancy rates for women undergoing AI may not be as high as some more advanced techniques, it is not expensive and has few side effects. Women are sometimes prescribed fertility drugs in preparation of the insemination.
There are Artificial Insemination methods:
Syringe method: it involves filling a needle-less syringe with sperm, inserting it into a woman until it reaches the cervix. The sperm is then released close to the cervix.
Cervical cap method: the cervical cap is filled with the sperm, folded then placed into the women’s vagina. It is left there for a couple of hours to give the sperm time to travel through the uterus.
AI treats infertility problems such as:
- Low sperm counts or sperm that aren’t strong enough to swim through the cervix and up into the fallopian tubes.
- When the male partner is impotent or suffers from infertility that resulted from medical issues.
- Couple in same sex relationship
- It’s an option for women who have endometriosis or abnormalities with their reproductive organs.
- Women with “unreceptive cervical mucus”. Here, the mucus surrounding the cervix is hostile to sperm and prevents it from getting into the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Reasons to indulge in Artificial Insemination
- Male infertility – low sperm count and impotency
- Single Women who want to get pregnant (through sperm donor). The sperm is collected from a sperm donor or sperm bank
Side effects of Artificial Intelligence
Depending on the type of insemination done, these side effects are rare:
- Mild cramping in the lower abdomen after the AI
- Vaginal discharge and light vaginal spotting or bleeding
- Infections of the uterus and fallopian tubes. The infection can cause endometriosis and inflammation of the uterine lining. Infections are usually due to the use of unsterilized catheter for the insemination procedure.
- If fertility drugs are used, the woman can have multiple births, ovarian hyper stimulation, headaches and irritability.
Best Practices for Artificial Insemination: to avoid contamination and side effects that result from such, it is advised to seek the services of a professional to guide through the process of AI.
Catheter: a tube that can be inserted into the body to treat diseases of perform medical operation
Uterus: also commonly known as the womb
Fallopian tubes: two tubes leading from the ovaries into the uterus
Cervix: lower part of the uterus
Writer – Helena Mag blogs at www.helenamag.com