The term artificial insemination describes the process of bringing together egg and sperm cells outside of the body.
This method has existed since 1978, and is equivalent to the term IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).
Today, we differentiate between three forms of IVF:
- IVF is the “classic” form of IVF, in which egg and sperm cells are simply brought together in a petri dish.
- ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection), in which sperm cells are individually selected under a microscope and injected into egg cells.
- IMSI (Intracytoplasmic Morphologically selected Sperm Injection), in which sperm cells are selected using an intensive search procedure under a high-end microscope with 6,600x magnification and injected into egg cells.
Insemination is a highly elegant and simple method of significantly increasing the chances pregnancy will occur.
In cases of reduced sperm quality, it can make sense to use a specialized method of conditioning them by filtering out the best sperm.
These sperm can then be introduced into the uterine cavity at the time of ovulation using a small plastic tube (catheter). This increases the number of fertile sperm in the fallopian tube.
This process is completely painless, and can significantly increase the likelihood that pregnancy will occur.
Intrauterine insemination is used, for instance, if sperm quality is slightly deficient.
We can also differentiate homologous insemination (with the sperm cells of one’s own partner) from heterologous insemination (with sperm cells which come from a sperm donor).