Artificial Insemination

Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination is (AI) a very simple procedure. It is usually done during the short period of ovulation, when a woman’s fertility is at its highest point of the month. In AI, sperm are deposited in the woman’s uterus to fertilise the egg inside the fallopian tubes, making it as close as possible to natural conception.

In order to identify the moment when AI is most likely to be successful, our gynaecologists carry out an exhaustive monitoring of the patient’s cycle, through two or three transvaginal ultrasound checks.

The degree of maturity of the follicles is assessed by analysing the level of oestradiol in the blood, a hormone produced in the follicles, which is responsible for the growth of the uterus, the fallopian tubes and the vagina in women.

How do we monitor ovulation?

Ultrasound scans are usually done 6 to 7 days after the onset of menstruation to assess both the size and the number of follicles.

In normal ovarian function, women develop only one follicle per cycle out of the 8 to 10 that begin to grow. When artificial insemination treatment is started, the growth of more follicles is induced by gentle ovarian stimulation.

In women with normal ovulation it can be done without this hormonal treatment, but with ovarian stimulation the chances of success increase considerably, as it allows better control of the cycle and makes the endometrium more receptive.

Ovarian stimulation is done with small doses of hormone medication.

Administration guidelines are prescribed according to each individual patient and can be modified as the treatment progresses, depending on the results of the monitoring

How is sperm capacitation and selection carried out?

To capacitate and select the spermatozoa, personalised controls are carried out on each patient 48 hours after ovulation in order to programme the moment of intrauterine insemination.

In this way we synchronise the right moment for the man to provide the sperm sample. To do this, a training process is carried out, selecting those spermatozoa with the greatest potential to achieve fertilisation.

Our Andrology laboratory prepares the semen sample, discarding those with less potential.

Can artificial insemination be done using donor sperm?

Insemination is called conjugal insemination (CAI) if the sperm come from the partner, when the male fertility problems are too much of an issue. When there are serious problems with the quality of the partner’s sperm, use donor sperm for AI.

In cases where the patient does not have a partner, or both are of the same sex, donors with physical characteristics similar to those of the recipient or the female partner, with an identical or compatible blood group, are used.

Sperm donation in Spain is completely anonymous. As indicated by Spanish law for gamete donation, donors must be of legal age and undergo a strict control of their state of health to rule out any congenital, genetic or sexually transmitted diseases.

When is insemination performed?

Once the woman’s cycle has been studied to determine the best time for the transfer, an appointment is made for insemination. A very fine catheter is used as a transport system to place the semen inside the uterus so that the sperm can travel to the egg to fertilise it. This procedure does not require hospitalisation, is completely outpatient, painless and does not require rest or suspension of daily activities.

How effective is Artificial Insemination?

Our cumulative pregnancy rate after 4 cycles reaches 60% in artificial insemination with the partner and 80% with a donor. These percentages may vary depending on the age of the patient and the specific conditions of each woman. At the Vistahermosa Reproduction Unit each case is personally analysed in search of the highest success rate.