Choosing an insemination method is key to deciding your journey. Below are descriptions of each method. If you have questions about which may be right for you, contact us.
The procedures used for intrauterine insemination (IUI) and intracervical insemination (ICI) are somewhat similar. Seattle Sperm Bank offers different vial types for different applications and fertilization techniques. For an IUI procedure, it is carefully timed based on a woman’s natural cycle or in conjunction with fertility medications intended to induce ovulation. The woman is normally positioned on an examination table as if in preparation for a pelvic exam. A speculum is placed in the vagina so the cervix is visible. A sperm sample is then inserted through the cervical opening using an insemination catheter attached to a syringe. For an ICI procedure, the sample is injected into the cervix. For an IUI procedure, the sample is injected directly into the uterus. Of the two procedures, IUI is commonly believed to have a slightly better success rate than ICI.
Artificial insemination can be done at home and performed on oneself or by their partner with either vial type. Home inseminations involve the use of either a syringe or a cervical cap to place the sperm as close to the cervix as possible at the correct time in the woman’s cycle. For women who are free of fertility issues, home insemination can save on cost due to the absence of medical office fees, although a licensed practitioner must agree to sign the required release paperwork. Despite pregnancy rates not being as high with this method, many women choose to make this a starting point in their fertility journey and do find success.
In vitro fertilization is a process by which fertilization is performed outside of the body. IVF may involve any combination of your own eggs and sperm or those from a donor. After egg and sperm cells have been harvested from the patient or obtained from a donor source, they are brought together in a laboratory environment under optimal conditions to allow the sperm to fertilize the eggs. About 2 to 5 days after fertilization, one or more of the best embryos are inserted into the uterus with a catheter. The remaining embryos may be cryopreserved for future use. For any ART/IVF procedures, ART-ICI samples can be purchased from Seattle Sperm Bank but, as with our premium ICI vials, they must first be “washed” by your fertility professional. Due to the extensive preparation and delicate nature of an IVF cycle, fertility clinics will frequently require you to provide two samples; one for immediate use and an extra one for backup.
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