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Infertility

What Is Artificial (Partner) Insemination?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 16:58

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

If the man's semen is fertile but can't reach the cervix because of premature ejaculation or an inability to maintain an erection, partner insemination may be considered. Men with low sperm count, women with poor quality mucous, and couples with reproductive abnormalities may also benefit from this procedure.

Even if the man has erection problems, he may collect his sperm through a partial erection. The woman also takes fertility drugs to increase her output of eggs. During a day when she is ovulating, she places the man's semen in her cervical canal with a syringe. The doctor may also perform this simple procedure in his office.

If the man has low sperm count, his sperm can be "washed" to instill it with more energy beforehand. In this procedure, the sperm is separated from semen and then placed in the woman's cervix. Adding calcium to the sperm washing solution or storing it briefly in a liquid containing warm egg yolk may also enhance the sperm's movement.

For women with cervical mucous that is too thick, or for partners with reproductive abnormalities or unexplained infertility, the sperm may be placed in the uterus or fallopian tubes instead of the cervix.

Unfortunately, partner insemination is not always a guaranteed success. A couple may have to go through the procedure six to 12 times before pregnancy occurs.

What Is Donor Insemination?

Donor insemination uses sperm from a donor male that is placed in the woman's cervix, fallopian tubes or uterus. This procedure may create pregnancy if the partner has few or no sperm, or an untreatable illness that affects his reproductive system. Single women who wish to have a child without a partner often use this method to achieve pregnancy.

Donors are screened for illnesses such as sexually transmitted diseases, for blood types, and for sperm that may react to the woman's mucous. Routine use of frozen semen also may reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Thousands of pregnancies have been reported from the use of frozen semen in the United States.

Infertility