Artificial insemination is a simple technique consisting of artificially depositing semen in the female reproductive tract. It is most often performed in the uterine cavity. Thus an attempt is made to shorten the distance between the ovum (egg) and the spermatozoid, and thus enable the two to meet.
For the artificial insemination to be successful, it is essential that at least one of the Fallopian tubes is permeable. Moreover, the semen from the man must meet the minimum semen parameters (in IVI centres, the concentration of motile (mobile) sperm after laboratory preparation must be over 3 million).
The artificial insemination treatment consists of three phases:
1. Stimulation of the ovary with hormones together with ovulation inducement. Although artificial insemination may be carried out taking advantage of the natural cycle (without ovarian stimulation), ovarian stimulation with hormones causes various follicles to develop, which after pharmacological ovulation inducement means more than one ovum (egg) is available to be fertilised naturally. Thus, the possibility of achieving pregnancy is increased.
2. The preparation of semen consists of selecting and concentrating the mobile spermatozoa, since their low mobility (“motility”) would have a negative effect on the possibility of achieving pregnancy. This is why the specimens are processed by means of semen capacitation or preparation techniques. Cell remains and dead, immobile or slow spermatozoa are eliminated from the ejaculate with the techniques of washing and capacitation.