Artificial insemination is a simple procedure in which specially treated sperm from the male partner is injected into the female partner’s reproductive tract. The procedure dates back to the early 20th century. In most cases, artificial insemination is performed with the husband’s sperm. If the husband’s ejaculate contains very few or no live sperm, sperm from a donor can be injected.
Most often, artificial insemination is often recommended to treat infertility caused by mild to moderate male factor infertility, insufficient cervical mucus, hostile cervical mucus, or various structural abnormalities in the woman. If the problem is with the husband having a low sperm count, ICSI is a procedure that, while costlier and more complex, should be used.
Artificial insemination actually refers to a general procedure. There are several types of artificial insemination, based upon the location that the sperm is inseminated into the female. They include intracervical, intrauterine, intrafollicular, and intratubal inseminations.
As far as fertility treatment goes, artificial insemination is a relatively quick procedure. It typically takes place in the clinical office. It is performed by passing a sterile catheter containing the sperm through the cervix and into the uterine cavity. The sperm are then injected directly into the uterus. Usually the insemination itself causes little if any discomfort. Following the insemination procedure, you will likely be asked to remain lying down with your hips elevated for about 45 minutes.