Myths and Facts About Insemination

Myths and Facts About Insemination

Our team at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center, led by Infertility Specialist and Reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Deborah Smith, provides state-of-the-art infertility services in a welcoming, patient-focused environment.

Thanks to our top-level providers, advanced technology, and commitment to your overall health and well-being, our fertility success rates are among the highest in the nation. We’re happy to compare popular myths with the facts about insemination and its role in successful infertility treatments.

Myth: Insemination and IVF are the same

Fact: Insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are two of the most widely used and successful assisted reproductive treatments (infertility treatments) available today. But they are different from one another.

During intrauterine insemination (IUI), sperm that we obtain from your partner or a donor are prepped in the lab and deposited in the uterus, accessed via the vagina during an in-office procedure. 

Ideally, the sperm then move into the fallopian tubes and fertilize an available egg, which grows into an embryo and develops into a pregnancy.   

IVF is a much more complex procedure, during which viable eggs removed from the ovaries and fertilized (inseminated) by healthy sperm in the lab develop into embryos. We then transfer the embryo to the uterus, where it implants in the uterine wall.

INVOcell® is another fertility treatment that falls between IVF and IUI in complexity and cost. For an INVOcell procedure, we place healthy sperm and harvested eggs in a small medical device (intravaginal incubator) that fits comfortably in the vagina.

After fertilization and embryo development begin (three to five days), we remove the INVOcell device and then collect and transfer the embryo to the uterus.

Myth: You don’t need fertility medicines with insemination

Fact: If you’re planning IUI, we may recommend low-dose ovulation induction hormones based on your age or other factors affecting ovulation. These medications stimulate egg development, increasing your chance of conceiving. For women that are using donor sperm who are single or same sex fertility medications may not improve success but the time to conception is quicker with the medications.  Since Donor sperm can cost over $1000 per sample the quicker you achieve pregnancy the less costly treatment will be.  Therefore to save considerable cost we recommend low dose fertility medications.

On the other hand, IVF requires ovulation induction to stimulate egg production, hopefully producing 6-15 or more healthy eggs for insemination and embryo development. Based on infertility evaluation results, Dr. Smith discusses your options in detail before proceeding with fertility medications.  IVF (for better success) always uses fertility medications.  Natural cycle IVF has less than a 10% chance of success.

Myth: Insemination and IVF are interchangeable 

Fact: Dr. Smith recommends fertility treatments based on the underlying cause of infertility. She also considers your age, life circumstances, and other needs when developing a strategy. 

Because intrauterine insemination is effective, less expensive, and less invasive than IVF, Dr. Smith may recommend one or three rounds of insemination before proceeding with IVF.

But she may suggest going directly to IVF if you or your partner have conditions that aren’t amenable to IUI. These issues could include blocked fallopian tubes that aren’t surgically correctable, low ovarian reserves, or severe male-factor infertility. 

For expert guidance and top-level fertility treatments focused on your circumstances, schedule an evaluation at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center in Parker, Colorado. Call our office or request an appointment online today.

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