One of the first infertility procedures a doctor or specialist will usually recommend is artificial insemination. Artificial insemination is a procedure through which sperm are inserted directly into the woman's uterus, cervix or Fallopian tubes to shorten the trip for sperm and circumvent any obstructions. Placing sperm in the uterus is the most common form of artificial insemination.
But how do you know if this procedure is right for you?
- It's Your First Treatment
If you haven't tried any infertility treatments, this is often a good first step. Pregnancy rates for artificial insemination aren't quite as high as they are for other treatments, but it's a very simple procedure with few side effects. If it takes, you may be spared more invasive or complex treatments.
- The Man Has Low Sperm Counts
Men with low sperm counts or sperm that aren't strong enough to get through the cervix and into the Fallopian tubes may find success with this procedure, since it doesn't force the sperm to do so much work.
- The Woman's Reproductive Organs Have Abnormalities
Women with endometriosis or other abnormalities can often benefit from this procedure. It's also helpful to women with unreceptive cervical mucus, meaning that the mucus around the cervix is hostile to sperm and prevents them from entering the Fallopian tubes.
The procedure may also be helpful if doctors can't determine the source of infertility. It may not work for everyone, but there's very little to lose, so it's often worth a try before going for more expensive and complex options like IVF treatment. Visit a center for reproductive medicine near you to find out more.