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INTRODUCTION Artificial Insemination by Husband (AIH) involves the ...
18.104.22.168 ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION BY PARTNER INTRODUCTION Artificial Insemination by partner (AIH) involves the insertion of semen obtained from the husband which has been washed and treated into the cervix/uterus of the woman in order to achieve pregnancy. With lower sperm quality insertion of sperm higher up the reproductive tract reduces the distance sperm have to swim to get to the egg (oocyte). It is estimated that hundreds of couples in Australia seek AIH each year. This figure is increasing rapidly as this facility gains acceptance and publicity. Whenever male infertility is untreatable, AIH may be employed as a helpful Method to provide the infertile couple with their desired family. Indications for A.I.H. include: i) difficulties in intercourse but potentially normal sperm production, e.g. anatomical problems; ii) some abnormalities of seminal analysis; iii) when the cervical mucus appears to be "hostile" to sperm penetration TREATMENT PROCEDURE A few days before ovulation is due, the woman attends Concept Fertility Centre or one of the collection centres early in the morning for blood tests which will help to ascertain the time of ovulation. Another indicator may be an alteration in the properties of the cervical mucus. Following this, insemination usually occurs once, occasionally twice per cycle around the time of ovulation. Normally, fresh semen is used in A.I.H. The male partner provides a sample of sperm to Concept Fertility Centre. This is treated, e.g. washed, and then placed inside the cervix or even into the uterus of the woman. The actual insemination is quite simple and painless and the woman may attend the surgery alone. However, her partner may also attend the insemination. Frozen semen may be used. The sperm is frozen and stored in "straws" in liquid nitrogen. In preparation for insemination straws are thawed and the sperm washed and placed into a catheter.. The doctor or nurse places the catheter containing the sperm through the cervix into the uterus where the sperm is deposited.. The woman then rests for about 20 minutes to aid conception, before the two-week wait to see whether or not a period arrives. Blood tests may be undertaken at Concept Fertility Centre to monitor the developing pregnancy. v3 August 2008 22.214.171.124 ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION BY PARTNER This method is useful when the male partner is routinely likely to be absent at the fertile time of the month for the woman and has stored some sperm with Concept previously. If, after 3-6 covered cycles (cycles where artificial insemination was performed), the procedure is still unsuccessful, the treatment may be reviewed and sometimes the client will be advised to take fertility drugs, hormone tablets or some other suitable medication to enhance her fertility. RESULTS If it is going to be successful, most pregnancies will occur within the first three months of treatment. Semen frozen and stored from men of "normal" fertility and used for AI of their partners will usually result in a good pregnancy rate. Couples having to resort to AIH for treatment of infertility, will still generally produce poor to moderate results. Factors such as the woman's age may also affect the success of the treatment. Treatment continues until pregnancy occurs or until there is mutual agreement between the client and the doctor, that a different treatment needs to be undertaken. COUNSELLING Concept Fertility Centre can also provide access to an independent counsellor at no cost to all couples seeking support and clarification on the use of AIH. Seeking emotional support such as this is not something to be embarrassed about as most couples undergo great stress during this time. Concept Fertility Centre recommends a counselling session prior to commencement on any Assisted Reproductive programme. RELIGIOUS ASPECTS Most faiths appear to be flexible in Assisted Reproductive processes. The Roman Catholic Church requires sperm to be collected using a Semen Collection Device (SCD) at normal intercourse and these needs can be catered for at Concept Fertility Centre. v3 August 2008
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