Intrauterine Insemination is a fertility treatment process involving placing sperm into a woman’s uterus via a catheter. It is a relatively safe process, but it does involve a few risks such as the possibility of bleeding, injury to the cervix, cramping, infection, sexually transmitted diseases, ovarian hyperstimulation and multiple pregnancies.
As an increased amount of couples experience fertility problems, more individuals are looking at the different alternatives to intrauterine insemination.
In Vitro Fertilization
In Vitro Fertilization is a fertility treatment process by which the egg cells are mixed with male sperm in a dish. The fertilized eggs are then placed into the woman’s uterus so that they may grow into a healthy pregnancy. The difference from a normal pregnancy is that the eggs are fertilized outside of the womb.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
This fertility process is done in conjunction with in vitro fertilization and involves the injection of only one sperm into the cytoplasm (the part of the cell enclosed in the cell membrane) of an oocyte (immature ovum or egg cell). This procedure allows the possibility of fertility with even little sperm and poor quality sperm.
Embryo freezing is done before the eggs are transferred. This is an optimal way of holding on to the eggs to conceive at a later time in the future. Medical conditions such as cancer and chemotherapy treatment may disturb a planned pregnancy and fertility. By freezing embryos, a pregnancy may be able to be performed once the medical situation improves.
Cryopreservation of supernumerary embryos involves the freezing at extremely low temperatures; embryos that exceed the usual number.
Assisted hatching is normally done on the third day of the development of the embryo. An artificial opening is created in the shell of the embryo to improve the likelihood of a pregnancy, since hard shells on embryos make it more difficult. This process improves the odds for conception.
With a blastocyst transfer, embryos are allowed to grow in the lab before they are placed into the uterus. In this case, the embryos will grow for 5 or 6 days before they are transferred, rather than the usual 3 days. This type of fertility process increases the possibility of conception while decreasing the chance of multiple pregnancies.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
This process can detect any genetic defects in embryos before they are implanted into the womb. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is used when one or either of the parents planning to conceive have a genetic abnormality or disposition to a specific disease. The embryos can be screened beforehand to see if the gene is detected.
A surrogacy can be a way to have a baby when the couple is not able to conceive naturally. It is an arrangement or contract that is done between the couple and a woman where the surrogate woman agrees to become pregnant and deliver a child for the couple. There are many issues to consider and discuss when a surrogacy is being proposed.
An adoption is the process for which a parent assumes all rights and responsibilities to take care of another person’s child or children. Waiting times and pros and cons must be considered before making a choice to adopt as an alternative to intrauterine insemination.