Do you know in which couples artificial insemination is indicated?
In order to perform an artificial insemination (AI) with the possibility of pregnancy, it is necessary that both the woman and the man (in the case of a male partner) meet a series of requirements. Among these AI prerequisites are the following:
- Fallopian tube patency.
- Good ovarian reserve.
- Age of the woman less than 38 years old.
- Good seminal quality.
To check if the woman or couple has the necessary conditions for artificial insemination, the specialist doctor will indicate the appropriate fertility tests that must be done beforehand.
If these conditions are not met, it is advisable to resort directly to in vitro fertilization (IVF), since its success rate is much higher than that of AI.
In the following, we will explain in more detail each of the main requirements mentioned for artificial insemination.
In AI, the union of the egg with the sperm, i.e. fertilization, occurs in the woman’s fallopian tubes. This is why, in order to perform an AI that offers a chance of success, it is essential that the patient’s tubes are patent and functional (or at least one of them).
The egg is collected by one of the fallopian tubes after ovulation, where it waits for a sperm to fertilize it. In AI, the semen sample is deposited directly into the woman’s uterus. However, the sperm must subsequently travel on their own until they reach the egg in the fallopian tube. Therefore, if the fallopian tubes are blocked, egg and sperm will not be able to meet and pregnancy will not occur.
2. Female age and ovarian reserve
As previously mentioned, the maximum age recommended for a woman to undergo artificial insemination with the highest probability of success is 36 years old. From this moment on, the success rate of AI starts to decrease considerably due to the affectation of the ovarian reserve.
3. Semen quality
Once semen is deposited into the patient’s uterus in an AI, the sperm should be able to reach the egg without any help. Therefore, it is essential for the male to have good sperm motility and concentration for AI to have a chance of success.
The main test in the male that will determine if artificial insemination is possible is the REM (motile sperm count) semen analysis. After processing the semen sample, the REM obtained must be equal to or greater than 3 million spermatozoa in order to perform AI, i.e., there must be at least 3 million spermatozoa that move well.
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