Artificial insemination: what it is, how much it costs, how it is done and care

Artificial insemination is a method that consists of placing sperm inside the woman's genital tract, being a treatment for cases of male or female infertility.

Insemination is a simple procedure, with few side effects and the outcome of which depends on some factors, such as sperm quality, fallopian tube conditions, the health of the uterus and the woman's age. Usually this is not the first choice of the couple who are unable to conceive spontaneously during 1 year of attempts, being an option for when all other more economical methods have not achieved results.

Artificial insemination consists of artificially placing the male sperm directly in the woman's uterus, in the cervical region, in the tubes, peritoneum or intra-follicular without sexual intercourse involved. There are 2 types of insemination:

  • Homologous Artificial Insemination: when the semen belongs to the partner;
  • Heterologous Artificial Insemination: when a donor's semen is used.

The price of artificial insemination depends on the clinic chosen by the couple, as well as the number of sessions necessary to achieve pregnancy, but the average price per cycle of artificial insemination is 4-6 thousand reais.

Artificial insemination is not the same as in vitro fertilization. If you want to know more about IVF, click here.

Who can do it

Artificial insemination is indicated for cases of:

  • Infertility, without apparent cause
  • Male sexual impotence
  • Hypospadias
  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Vaginismus
  • Minimal or mild endometriosis
  • Ovulatory dysfunction
  • Reduced sperm volume, with a minimum of 3 million sperm / mL recommended
  • Changes in sperm

There are still some criteria that must be respected, such as the woman's age. Many human reproduction centers do not accept women over 40 years of age, because there is a greater risk of spontaneous abortion, low response to the ovarian stimulation process and decreased quality of the collected oocytes, which are crucial for pregnancy.

How artificial insemination is done

Artificial insemination begins with the collection of semen through masturbation, after 3-5 days of sexual abstinence, and placing the sample in a sterile container to assess the quality and quantity of sperm. Only semen with the following characteristics can be used: volume above 2 mL, pH from 7.2 to 7.8, concentration above 20 million sperm / mL, more than 50% of freely moving sperm and more than 30% of sperm with natural shapes.

About 3-7 days before the day of insemination happens the woman must take an ovulation inducer, such as clomiphene, and 2 additional doses of hCG are still needed 3-6 days after insemination.

The artificial insemination happens as follows: the doctor inserts a vaginal speculum (similar to the one used in the pap smear) and removes the excess cervical mucus present in the woman's uterus, then the sperm is deposited. After that the patient must rest for 30 minutes and up to 2 inseminations can be done to increase the chances of pregnancy.

Usually, pregnancy occurs after 4 cycles of artificial insemination and success is greater in cases of infertility due to an unknown cause. In couples where 6 cycles of insemination were not enough, it is recommended to look for another assisted reproduction technique.

Care after artificial insemination

After insemination the woman can normally return to her routine, however, depending on some factors such as age and conditions of the tubes and uterus, for example, some care after the insemination may be recommended by the doctor, such as avoiding sitting too long or standing, avoid sexual intercourse for 2 weeks after the procedure and maintain a balanced diet.

Possible complications

Some women report bleeding after insemination, which should be reported to the doctor. Other possible complications of artificial fertilization include ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion and pregnancy of twins, and although these complications are not very frequent the woman must be accompanied by the insemination clinic and the obstetrician to prevent / treat their occurrence.