The normal process of reproduction involves a chain of events. The woman releases an egg from one of her ovaries (ovulation). The egg travels through a fallopian tube toward her uterus (womb). A mans sperm is introduced into the vagina through intercourse. It travels up the uterus and into the fallopian tube to join with (fertilise) the egg. The fertilised egg then attaches to the inside of the uterus, initiating pregnancy.
The female reproductive system is made up of the following parts:
The male reproductive system consists of the following:
Infertility is a condition characterised by the inability to achieve pregnancy and a healthy live birth. It occurs when one or more of the processes of a normal reproductive cycle fail to occur.
Left untreated, you may not be able to have biological offspring.
Artificial insemination is considered for the following cases:
The process of artificial insemination is performed in coordination with the menstrual cycle. Timing is crucial to the outcome. You will be monitored for signs of ovulation; either at home with an ovulation predictor kit that measures the urine for specific hormones, or in the clinic through transvaginal ultrasound. Your doctor may also administer human chorionic gonadotropic hormone (HCG) to initiate the release of one or more eggs at the right time.
At the same time, the semen sample from your partner or frozen donor sperm is thawed and prepared. The sperm is washed within 1 hour of ejaculation, and concentrated by selecting the highly active and healthy sperm. You are advised to avoid intercourse 2 to 5 days before the procedure to ensure a high sperm count.
The artificial insemination is performed the day after or after two days of ovulation.