Among assisted reproduction techniques, this can be considered the simplest and the closest to the natural process. However, for the couple to receive this form of treatment, the woman must have intact tubes (assessed by hysterosalpingography) and the man, at least 5 million sperm.
Once the couple has been properly studied and artificial insemination is indicated, treatment begins with controlled ovarian stimulation.
This stimulation can be done in several ways, with drugs administered orally or intramuscularly. They can start on the 2nd or 3rd day of menstruation and last from 5 to 15 days, according to the schedule used.
Throughout this period, the growth of ovarian follicles is carefully monitored by pelvic endovaginal ultrasound. Normally, 2 to 4 follicles are expected to grow during this period. When at least one of the ovarian follicles reaches 18 millimeters or more in diameter, hCG is administered to complete the maturation of the oocytes and induce ovulation.
Approximately 36 hours after hCG administration, sperm collection is requested by masturbation. This semen will be treated in the laboratory in order to separate the most competent sperm for fertilization, discarding defective cells, dead sperm and other substances that should not be transferred to the uterus.
Once the semen has been prepared and with the help of a special cannula, the sperm will be transferred directly to the patient’s uterus. With the pressure used during the transfer and the occlusion of the exit of the cervix, it is expected that the sperm penetrate the fallopian tubes and reach the fertilization site.
The formed embryo or embryos will be transported through the tube to the uterine cavity where the implantation and development of the pregnancy will occur.
The average pregnancy rate per artificial insemination cycle is 20% to 30%.
References in Medical Literature:
- Several authors. “Assisted Human Reproduction”. Publisher Atheneu. São Paulo, 2003.