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Artificial Insemination (AI) – Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) (Medium Complexity)

Home » IPGO Inglês » Artificial Insemination (AI) – Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) (Medium Complexity)
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Artificial insemination, known since ancient times, is a therapeutic remedy of great value in the treatment of an infertile couple. Recommending this option is based on the impossibility or difficulty of the semen reaching the egg in the woman’s reproductive system (tubes), therefore, obstructing fertilization. The candidates of this therapeutic procedure are patients who present the following symptoms:

a) Poor or insufficient cervical mucus.
b) Sterility without Apparent Cause (SWAC), Unexplained Infertility.
c) Husbands with abnormal semen analysis (oligospermia, asthenospermia, or anatomical problems).
Important: Fertilization occurs in its natural environment, that is, in the tubes which have to be permeable.

Ovulation Induction, Technique and Day of Insemination

In the same manner as programmed intercourse, the ovaries are stimulated by hormones with the objective of obtaining a large number of eggs. The growth of these eggs is monitored by ultrasound until they reach a diameter of approximately 18 mm, and the endometrium, a thickness above 7 mm. Ovulation also occurs at the right moment by medication. The differences consist of the medication dosages used for ovarian stimulation and that the spermatozoa are placed inside the uterus, rather than by sexual intercourse.

Artificial insemination is a relatively simple procedure. It is performed in the doctor’s office, without anesthesia; it is painless; and it does not take more than a few minutes. With the patient in a gynecological position, the sperm is placed inside the uterus, near the inner openings of the tubes, by a catheter that passes delicately through the vagina and the cervical canal. After the insemination, the patient should remain lying down for around 20 minutes, in order for the semen to reach the interior of the tubes and for fertilization to occur. After this period, she can return to her daily activities. The success rate of IUI, following ovarian stimulation (super ovulation), is around 18 to 25% per cycle, but can reach to 50% after a few attempts. In cases where the male partner is a carrier of serious sperm disorders (azoospermia – lacking spermatozoa), frozen sperm can be used from an anonymous donor, through a Sperm Bank (see details described below).