Intrauterine insemination, or artificial insemination, is a treatment for infertility. During the process, washed sperm is placed directly into the uterus on the day after a woman ovulates. The hopeful outcome of this procedure is egg fertilization and a resulting pregnancy.
Sperm by the Numbers
The average sperm count for a healthy male is 60 million sperm per milliliter. Over the past several decades, this number has decreased by 1 to 2 percent annually for a variety of reasons. An adequate sperm count is crucial to achieving pregnancy but, more importantly, a strong, concentrated sample is paramount.
A washed sperm count of 5 million sperm is the lower limit suggested for an intrauterine insemination success. A specimen containing 10 to 30 million sperm provides a considerably higher pregnancy success rate. A washed sperm count more than 50 million sperm does not increase the odds of pregnancy.
Why Choose Intrauterine Insemination?
If pregnancy has not been achieved through the natural means of intercourse, despite a normal sperm count, be aware that only the strongest and best sperm can navigate through the woman's cervical mucous, into the uterus and on to the fallopian tubes where egg fertilization occurs.
Intrauterine insemination, on the other hand, provides a vehicle for more sperm to reach the crucial site of fertilization. Therefore, selecting the process of intrauterine insemination, a more concentrated number of better quality sperm placed deep within the woman's reproductive system are available to try to achieve a successful egg fertilization.
If natural coital means have not resulted in a successful pregnancy, intrauterine insemination is a wise choice of treatment with good success rates. There are many medical and personal issues which influence the decision to try this option. Consult with your medical professional to assist you in making the best decision.