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Types of Artificial Insemination

The laparoscopic method uses laparoscopic surgery to locate your fallopian tubes, which is more invasive. An incision is made in your abdomen and a tiny camera is inserted inside your pelvic cavity to help find your fallopian tubes. The catheter is then inserted through the incision, and the sperm sample is deposited this way. You and your partner may benefit from ITI if you have had trouble conceiving naturally or if you have tried other forms of artificial insemination and they have failed. You may also want to consider ITI if you do not ovulate regularly or if you have hostile (thick) cervical mucus, which could hinder the motility of sperm. The direct deposit into your fallopian tubes means the sperm does not have to work as hard to get where they need to go.

ITI success rates can range anywhere from 5 to 30 percent per cycle. You might expect a higher percentage, considering the sperm faces fewer obstacles, when deposited directly into the fallopian tubes, but success rates higher than 30 percent have not yet been proven. Still, some physicians believe couples with fertility issues are more likely to get pregnant using ITI than any of the other insemination procedures, and couples usually pay upwards of $1,000 for the treatment.

Intravaginal Insemination

The least common form of artificial insemination is called intravaginal insemination (IVI). During IVI, your partner's or donor's sperm is placed directly inside your vagina and deposited near your cervix, very similar to what occurs during natural intercourse.

The least invasive of all the artificial insemination treatments, you can perform IVI yourself, in your own home. Many couples choose IVI for its comfort and privacy. Your partner simply collects his semen by ejaculating in a sterile container, such as a glass or a small pot. The entire sample is then withdrawn into a sterile syringe and deposited into your vagina by either you or your partner as close to your cervix as possible, so the sperm can begin their journey toward your egg. IVI has also been called self insemination.

IVI can be helpful if your partner is having trouble ejaculating during intercourse and this is the cause of your inability to conceive. The treatment is most effective in women who ovulate regularly and have partners with strong, healthy sperm.

IVI success rates can vary, but tend to be similar to those associated with ICI. Your personal success will depend on your individual fertility issues. Typically, you have a 10 to 30 percent chance of getting pregnant using IVI, but those chances may be increased if the procedure is performed in a clinical setting because your partner's sperm will undergo sperm washing and be better prepared. If you and your partner choose to do IVI without assistance from a doctor, the procedure will cost you very little. If you choose to use a donor sperm or fertility drugs with the procedure, however, it could cost up to $500.

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