How is insemination performed?
- The woman usually is given medications to stimulate development of multiple eggs and the insemination is timed to coincide with ovulation –release of the eggs.
- A semen sample provided by masturbation after 2-5 days of abstinence from ejaculation.
- The semen is “washed” in the laboratory (called sperm processing or sperm washing). The sperm is separated from the other components of the semen and concentrated in a small volume. Various media and techniques are used for the washing and separation. Sperm processing takes about 30-60 minutes.
- A speculum is placed in the vagina and the cervical area is gently cleaned.
- The washed specimen of highly motile sperm is placed either in the cervix (intracervical insemination, ICI) or higher in the uterine cavity (intrauterine insemination, IUI) using a sterile, flexible catheter.
- The intrauterine insemination procedure, seems similar to a pap smear for the woman. There is little or no discomfort.