Many couples experience difficulties in trying to have a baby because of fertility problems. Fortunately, there’s a solution called artificial insemination.
Artificial insemination includes a range of techniques where the male sperm is artificially introduced into the reproductive tract of a woman. If you’re trying to learn about this procedure, read more about the pros and cons of artificial insemination.
Pros of Artificial Insemination
- High success rate
The overall success rate is around 80%; the cumulative rate of multiple attempts is by 10-20%. The intrauterine insemination and the intracervical have a success rate of 5-10% . 90% of couples who manage to achieve a pregnancy by artificial insemination achieved it in the first 6 attempts.
- Low costs
Compared with other fertility procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), such treatment is relatively inexpensive. The National Infertility Association reported that the average cost for an IVF cycle is $ 8158 – although other estimates more – and a procedure of artificial insemination costs $ 865. Some insurance companies will cover some of the costs.
- Fewer side effects in women
Artificial insemination is less invasive than other methods of infertility treatments and has fewer side effects. Sometimes fertility drugs are prescribed to women, men or both, but not always. The procedure is also painless.
Artificial insemination allows natural fertilization to take place in the body. This appeals to couples who want to create a child in a manner that is close to the traditional intercourse.
- Safe procedure
Whether the semen used for artificial insemination comes from the husband, a sperm bank, or another donor, it is always tested before insemination, in order to reduce the risk of passing genetic defects in children.
Cons of artificial insemination
- Risk of infections
You can not make a complete sterilization of sperm, so occasionally sperm can cause an infection of the uterus, leading to a condition called endometriosis. This occurs in 1% of cases. Symptoms include: abdominal pain, fever and vaginal bleeding. Mild cases can be treated with oral antibiotics, but severe cases involve hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.
- Risks of multiple births and other complications
The hormones used to stimulate ovulation sometimes cause the release of multiple eggs simultaneously, which gives rise to multiple pregnancies and births. These sometimes cause complications during pregnancy and premature births.
All these hormones can cause unpleasant symptoms in some women: hot flashes, depression and irritability, headache and insomnia. They can also cause the occurrence of ovarian cysts associated with abdominal pain.
- Risks of birth defects
Children born after artificial insemination treatments have an increased risk of birth defects, shows the results of a larger study in this field, by AFP. The research took place between 2003 – 2007 in 33 clinics in France, and more than 15,000 children born from artificial insemination were analyzed.
Couples who intend to resort to insemination treatments should know that the risk of birth defects in children is approximately two times higher than for children born normally, the researchers warned. “We found a major congenital malformation in 4.24 percent of the ART(assisted reproductive technology) children” says geneticist Geraldine Viot, the leader of the study.