Artificial insemination is also known as AI. Artificial insemination is a fertility treatment that involves the manual placement of a fertilized egg into the uterus of a female. The process is usually done because the woman is unable to produce adequate eggs for conception or because a man's sperm is not able to fertilize an egg. A donor can be a woman or a man. A woman donor offers viable eggs for fertilization and a donor male can offer viable sperm for the fertilization of an egg.
The scenarios for artificial insemination are numerous, but all involve the fertilization of an egg and sperm outside the womb, do not require sexual intercourse and are part of a treatment called Artificial Reproductive Technology or ART.
In many cases, sperm is collected from either the male partner or a sperm bank. Eggs are collected from a female egg donor or the female partner, depending on the scenario. In all cases, the egg and sperm are fertilized in a laboratory environment and then implanted into the woman's uterus.
Any woman or couple who wishes to have a child and are unable to for a variety of reasons may benefit from the AI process. The process is able to bypass problems in both male and female infertility or in cases where eggs or sperm are just not of the quality that will ensure fertilization or conception. Find out what are other fertility treatment options abroad.
Depending on scenario regarding the donation of the male sperm and in the case where a woman does produce viable eggs, the woman waits until her ovum have released. A close watch on the woman's cycle is essential in order to determine this point in time. One of the most successful methods of artificial insemination is to implant the sperm directly into the woman's uterus.
Semen from the male partner or donor in manually inserted into the uterus through special instruments, including a large and needleless syringe. Another longer tube is placed into the end of the syringe to add extra length for optimal placement of the fertilized egg into the uterus.
Following the 'injection' the woman is required to lie still for an hour or so to prevent the semen from 'leaking' out of the vagina, and to enable the sperm a change to find an egg to fertilize.
There are several different types of artificial insemination, including:
Depending on your case, the fertility specialist will help prospective parents determine the best course of artificial insemination for their needs.
The cost of artificial insemination depends on the AI method chosen, your geographic location and how many attempts the couple goes through for successful conception. One round of artificial insemination can cost up to $500 or more for a single attempt, with an average of five to ten attempts recommended. Average cost of a cycle of AI treatment in the U.S. is $10,000. This does not include costs of the donor program, which may add another $10,000 to $15,000 to the cost, with a total average of $25,000 to $30,000 for a cycle of treatments.
In locations such as Costa Rica or South America, Central Europe and Southeast Asia, patients may benefit from the same technologies and care for up to 75% savings on costs.
Obstetricians and gynecologists trained in fertility methods should be board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Couples should find specialists who are a member of endocrinologist organizations or technologies. As such, they have completed medical school programs, followed by four years of residency training in obstetrics and gynecology, and then, two to three years of training in fertility within an approved program that results in board certification.
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