What insemination entails?


Intrauterine artificial insemination is a straightforward, fast (just a few minutes) and practically painless procedure. It can be conducted at the clinic and does not require hospital admission or anaesthesia.

A single insemination per cycle is sufficient if conducted at the right time: i.e. when ovulation occurs. For this, it is crucial to conduct a series of controls on ovulation via ultrasound and blood and urine tests in order to determine as accurately as possible the day of ovulation.

Semen sample

On the day of insemination, the semen sample is collected following these instructions:

  • Sexual abstinence for 3-5 days before collecting sample
  • Semen specimens should collected by masturbation into a wide-mouth sterile container (like those used for urine collection) which will be provided beforehand or may be bought at a chemist.
  • It is important that the entire ejaculate is collected without losing any.
  • The semen specimen may be collected on the same day at the centre as there are specific rooms available for this purpose. If the specimen is not collected at the centre, it is important to deliver it to the Andrology Laboratory within a maximum of one hour.
  • On delivering the specimen, information should be provided on whether donor is taking any medications or had a fever.

Once in the laboratory, the specimen undergoes density gradient centrifugation to select the most mobile sperm. This final sperm suspension (0.2 ml) will be used for the insemination and deposited inside the woman's uterus.

In exceptional cases, when it is envisaged that the donor will be unable to collect the semen specimen on the day of insemination the gynaecologist should be informed in order to assess the possibility of freezing a semen specimen before the insemination cycle.

The freezing and thawing process may affect the viability of some of sperm. So in cases of severe oligoasthenospermia, cryopreservation of semen specimens is not recommended. Freezing should be conducted at least 3 to 5 days before insemination, having previously taken prophylaxis antibiotics to avoid possible contamination of the specimen.

After insemination

The woman should rest for 10-15 minutes after the insemination. She is recommended to remain calm for the day, and to avoid baths and sexual relations. The following day normal activities can be resumed, but avoiding over-exertion.

Occasionally, on the days following insemination slight blood loss or mild abdominal pain may appear. It is normal as long as these are not too severe.


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