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Artificial Insemination

Fertility for some couples has been a large hurdle to overcome.  Choosing the right doctor could be the difference between baren or having a child.  A voice of a female that had face such a roadblock has inspire me to research the topic of “Artificial Insemination”.

The origin of artificial insemination began with experiments on animals trying to control favorable reproductive traits.  Back in the days, when I milked cows, we had used artificial insemination to increase milk production and cream fat contents.  Breeding a bull with proven features that would also correct the physical contours of the heifer resulting in a more valuable offspring.

Nothing would be more valuable than giving birth to a child.  As the process became more fined tune, human experiments began. The introduction of a donor sperm into a cervix became successful for many women who had to deal with the thought of being baren.  The art of conception delivered more options to women as medical advancement progressed.

The donor sperm could be from the husband or from a sperm bank.   There are many reasons for couples to explore this medical procedure. For men, it may be low sperm count or just poor swimming sperm.  For the female, the condition of endometriosis or abnormal reproduction organs.  Whatever the reason, artificial insemination could increase the odds of pregnancy.

The mucus around the cervix may have prevented sperm from reaching its destination.  Through artificial insemination, this natural hindrance could be overcome by just the placement of the sperm.  By intrauterine insemination (IUI) sperm is placed directly on the uterus around the cycle time of the release of ovary eggs. It sounds simple enough. Concerning risks would be multiple pregnancies, spotting, or infections from the procedure.

My interviewee said it was like a suction cup inserted during a pap smear. The news of her husband’s sperm was immature due to a blockage that developed in childhood from a high fever had left the couple devastated. The next best option at the time was sperm from a sperm bank. They did not have family support for their decision. They decide to pursue it anyway.  The couple was hopeful for success since her physical exam indicated she was capable of getting pregnant.

It was after a lengthy time period; they stopped the attempt to repeat the procedure.  Inquiring why they had stopped; the answer came from a closet of emotional struggle.

Each procedure brought hope and each pregnancy test bought pain and defeat.  The emotional up and down for one year became very hard.  Depression set in.  She stated, “knowing it could not happen would be easier than thinking it can but doesn’t”.

The individuals’ own moral and social issues can influence the couple’s persistence.  Having the support of your partner and family would ease the burden of repeated failures and attempts.  Let’s face it, no matter how advanced we become, there will always be that person who says the wrong thing.  A physician’s knowledge of procedure, outcome and risks would help you see if this would be the right path for you and your partner. The emotional support from your physician could be overlooked when lines of communications don’t feel open.  If your physician has any experience under his or her belt, they have heard it all already.  Pick a physician that you can express that doubt, tears and fears.

I spoke with another happy mother of twins.  Her recollections of the hope and disappointments haunted her also.  They used artificial insemination injunction with injectable hormone therapy.  This couple’s persistence paid off.  They had some skin in the game for over year and half before they got that blood work that said, “Your pregnant”!

The risk of multiply pregnancy in artificial insemination and the same risk with the injectable hormone added up to twins. Whew, it could have been more!

They had a great family support system throughout their attempt and afterwards, unlike the first couple.  When the news came about the pregnancy, they faced challenges before, during and after the twins made their debut prematurely. Her hands have been full ever since.

Another approach in artificial insemination would be in the area of vitro fertilization. This is when an egg and sperm are combined outside of the body in a lab.  After the embryo develops and a health check is completed, it would be implanted in the uterus through a catheter.

Infertility does not have to be a death sentence to your dreams of a family.  With advances in medical procedures and a good physician with excellent communication skills, pregnancy would be within reach.  With a family support system and a good husband, you could face any hurdle in your life.

For your reading pleasure:

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) | Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women (texaschildrens.org)

Artificial Insemination & IUI in Humans: Purpose, Procedure, Benefits (webmd.com)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) – Mayo Clinic

Fertility Out Loud | Diagnosis & Treatments





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