Generally artificial insemination refers to planting semen in the reproductive tract without sex. The technique can be performed with partner or ‘husband’ refereed to as “AIH” or donor sperm “AID”.
AI has to be timed as any conception planning. Timing is everything in so much of what we do! Trying to get the sperm there exactly as a woman ovulates is the subject of much discussion among the girlfriends! Subtle and not so subtle hints are often tried by a partner to get her guy to perform. But sometimes that pressure is just, well, pressure. And some of us just have very specific reasons to birth at very specific times. this could be working around projects at work, or matching a loved one’s birth day! Much infertility treatment has focused on mom: is mom ovulating? If Ovulating are mom’s tube’s open? Patients not conceiving ask does mom have endometriosis, and so on. Of course we know we need some sperm around, but using a process called intrauterine insemination more commonly thought of as “IUI” can actually double your rate of conception in any one cycle!.
If you are having trouble timing conception this can be helped by getting more sperm into the uterus at that critical time for the egg and sperm to be able to meet in the fallopian tube where conception occurs. The timing of insemination is usually determined by consultation with your gyno provider. You can be scheduled for a single time or scheduled for twice in a given cycle. To figure out if twice is better Drs. Cantineau and colleagues from the Netherlands looked into which technique would work the best. Their review of studies actually couldn’t prove that the pregnancy rate was any better with repeating a well timed single try at insemination. Other factors are probably more important including the use of ovulation medications, the ability to increase the number of eggs available by fertility medications, and the use of ultrasound to determine if the follicle has ruptured yet or not.
Semen is processed before artificial insemination. So that really just sperm is being deposited inside the uterus. According to the WHO classification system, an abnormal semen analysis can be diagnosed as oligozoospermia, astenozoospermia, teratozoospermia or combinations of these and azoospermia. For men with any of these conditions, doing AI can help get sperm to where they need to go.