The most affordable and simple solution to achieve a pregnancy
When it comes to realizing the dream of becoming parents, artificial insemination emerges as an option that combines effectiveness, affordability, and simplicity. Although it’s crucial to remember that prices can vary depending on the clinic and individual circumstances, the cost of an artificial insemination generally stands out as one of the most accessible alternatives within the world of assisted reproduction.
We spoke with Leonor Ortega, Embryologist and Director of Vida Fertility’s laboratory, about the effectiveness, simplicity, and cost of an artificial insemination.
What is an artificial insemination?
This fertility treatment, often praised for its affordability, is considered a less invasive option compared to other treatments. To keep it short and simple, an artificial insemination involves a controlled introduction of a prepared sperm sample into the woman’s uterus during her ovulation period.
This process aims to increase the chances of the sperm to reach and fertilise the egg, therefore to increase the chances of pregnancy.
Types of artificial insemination
At Vida Fertility, we differentiate between Conjugal Artificial Insemination (CAI) using the partner sperm and Donor Artificial Insemination (DAI) using donor sperm. In both cases, there are different modalities of artificial insemination, each designed to address specific patient’s needs.
- Intrauterine artificial insemination (IUI) is the most common one, where previously selected sperm is directly deposited into the woman’s uterus during her ovulation period. This method is usually preferred due to its simplicity and lower costs.
- Intracervical artificial insemination (ICI) involves placing sperm close to the cervix.
- Intratubal artificial insemination (ITAI) is less common and used in more specific cases. Here, sperm is placed directly into the fallopian tubes, where the fertilisation takes place.
Price of artificial insemination
Its simplicity appeals: an artificial insemination does not involve complex surgical procedures or an long preparation period. Instead, the treatment is carried out at the doctor’s office and usually doesn’t take long, allowing patients to continue with their daily lives with minimal interruptions.
Steps to follow in artificial insemination:
- First visit to evaluate each case with the fertility specialist and design the best treatment plan.
- Natural or stimulated cycle: artificial insemination is performed according to your natural cycle or with mild hormonal stimulation to give a push to the follicular growth. This treatment is simple and involves subcutaneous injections that you can administer at home for about 10-14 days. During this process, follicular development is carefully monitored by ultrasounds to determine the optimal time for insemination.
- Ovulation induction: when the main follicle reaches the appropriate size, we induce ovulation with a final hormone injection.
- Insemination: the insemination is performed on the day of the ovulation by introducing the sperm sample into the uterus through a catheter without the need for anesthesia. Depending on transports, a 2-3 day stay can be required for patients from outside Spain.
- Two watingin weeks and beta hCG: after the insemination, you can go back to your normal life with no rest needed. Results come in about two weeks after, when you can take a blood pregnancy test.
Who is this treatment for?
While artificial insemination is presented as a more accessible and less intrusive option for many, it’s important to remember that its suitability depends on various factors, including the health and age of the women/couple.
Artificial insemination is indicated for:
- Women under 38 years old.
- Women with normal ovarian reserve
- Women with permeable Fallopian Tubes.
- Couple with good quality of the partner’s semen
- Single mothers by choice.
- Same-sex female couples.
Before opting for this treatment, it is strongly recommended that couples seek professional medical advice from a fertility specialist to obtain the best diagnosis and determine the best strategy for achieving pregnancy.
Differences between IVF and Artificial Insemination
A common question from our patients is: What is the difference between in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and artificial insemination. IVF involves a fertilisation outside the woman’s body, where eggs and sperm are fertilised in a laboratory. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the uterus.
In contrast, artificial insemination involves placing sperm directly into the uterus, allowing fertilisation to occur naturally in the woman’s body.
The choice between IVF and artificial insemination often depends on the cause of infertility and pre-treatment tests.
IUI or IVF: how do I choose?
IVF is considered when there are more severe problems, such as blocked fallopian tubes or severe male infertility. Artificial insemination is often chosen to treat less severe causes of infertility, such as sperm quality or cervical problems. Consulting a fertility specialist is crucial to determine which option is best for each patient.
In summary, artificial insemination offers a great opportunity of affordability and simplicity for those seeking to achieve pregnancy. While prices may vary, this technique remains an effective and less invasive option within the field of assisted reproduction.