How is Donor Insemination Done?
Ok, you've been thinking about donor insemination (DI), but are wondering what the procedure entails. You've likely heard all kinds of stories about complicated fertility treatments and drugs. Well, DI is the "low tech" fertility treatment and is not complicated. Many conceive successfully without any additional treatment or drugs.
Usually, the woman will be evaluated to rule out any obvious fertility problems. This can involve things such as routine blood tests, ultrasound, endometrial biopsy, and/or a hysterosalpinogram. More on those later.
Her menstrual cycles will often be monitored using temperature charting as well as charting other indicators. The time of ovulation is often then determined by checking your urine at mid cycle with ovulation predictor kits. When the monitoring indicates that ovulation is about to occur, the inseminations are typically done the next day.
If there is uncertainty about the timing of ovulation, a second insemination may be performed.
If she does not ovulate regularly or if her cycles are very unpredictable, the doctor may prescribe a medication such as clomid to regulate ovulation.
That said, there are two types of inseminations; ICI (intracervical inseminations) and IUI (intrauterine insemination). Some research and statistics show that the success rates for IUI are higher than with ICI due to the fact that the sperm is closer to where it needs to be after the procedure. Which method is used can depend on a number of factors, and the Doctor or clinic can help in this decision.
ICI usually takes a few minutes and should be simple and painless. It can be either done at home, or at a Doctor's office or fertility clinic. The sperm is thawed and loaded into a syringe. The sperm is injected slowly into the vagina close to the cervix and the syringe is removed. The woman can then return to whatever activities she had planned for the day! Some say that you should lay down with your hips elevated for a while after the insemination, but others say it does not matter.
IUI is only slightly more complicated than having a pap test! IUI should be done in a Doctors office or fertility clinic. It typically takes less than five minutes and should be painless, although some women do experience some cramping afterwards. The sperm is thawed in a laboratory and loaded into a narrow tube (a catheter about one millimeter in diameter) which is attached to a syringe. A speculum (the same kind that is used in a PAP test) is placed into the vagina in order to visualize the cervix. The catheter is passed through the cervix and into the cavity of the uterus. The sperm is injected slowly into the uterus and the catheter is removed. The woman can then return to whatever activities she had planned for the day! Some say that you should lay down with your hips elevated for a while after the insemination, but others say it does not matter.
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