Success Rates of Artificial Insemination Fertility Treatment


Artificial Insemination, or AI, is also called intra uterine insemination or IUI. Either way, it is a fertility or assisted reproduction treatment that has delivered success rates for centuries, and is also non-tech, low risk and affordable compared to other fertility treatments.


In this article we look at the success rates that fertility patients who are undergoing artificial insemination treatment can expect, find out when artificial insemination is recommended, and discover what are the options if artificial insemination is not successful.

For some of the growing numbers of couples who are facing fertility challenges today, artificial insemination can be a simple, low-tech and low risk solution to starting or growing their families.

In short, during the artificial insemination procedure, warned and washed sperm are introduced into the woman’s uterus through a thin flexible plastic tube which is passed through the cervix. The procedure is done around the time of ovulation to give the best chance of conception. Artificial insemination can be performed with sperm from a male partner or from a sperm donor.

Artificial insemination is performed in two ways at Medfem Fertility Clinic: in a natural cycle without fertility drugs or in a stimulated cycle with fertility drugs.

Success rates of artificial insemination treatment

Success rates using artificial insemination vary.

For some patient groups, the success rates are excellent. For example, lesbian and single women can do very well with this treatment. However, it is not uncommon for a woman to undertake multiple inseminations.

In general, a healthy woman under the age of 35 can expect a pregnancy rate of between 9% and 15% per cycle, depending on a number of factors. These factors include the woman’s age and egg quality, as well as the health of her fallopian tubes, and whether the male partner’s sperm count is within normal limits.

However, where there is a problem with the quality of the sperm, the pregnancy rate has been found to drop to approximately 10% per cycle, even if artificial insemination is performed with ovarian stimulation. Artificial insemination may not achieve pregnancy in cases where the sperm count is very low.

Fertility specialists might try three cycles of artificial insemination, and if these are not successful, recommend more advanced fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).

When is artificial insemination recommended?

Artificial insemination is mainly used when timed intercourse or hormonal medications have not worked, or if there are mild problems with the sperm such as a mild sperm abnormality, anti-sperm antibodies or poor motility (the ability of the sperm to move).

In addition, artificial insemination can be used to overcome infertility due to the following conditions:

* physical problems with sexual intercourse – for example, vaginismus may prevent some women from having frequent intercourse;

* ovulation problems, including irregular or absent ovulation often caused by a deficiency in one of the controlling hormones;

* mucus hostility, which may arise as a result of a vaginal infection or the presence of antisperm antibodies in the mucus;

* mild endometriosis, which occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of a woman’s uterus grows in other places where it doesn’t belong, such as on the ovaries or fallopian tubes;
* low sperm count – even if the sperm count is low, it can still be used due to the treatment received in the laboratory;

* ejaculation problems due to impotence or paraplegia;

* retrograde ejaculation which occurs when the semen goes backwards into the bladder instead of coming out of the penis.

What are the options if artificial insemination is not successful

Artificial insemination is only one of a range of possible assisted reproduction treatments for those struggling with fertility.

One of the best known assisted reproduction treatments is called in vitro fertilization or IVF. It was developed more than 30 years ago for the treatment of women with damaged fallopian tubes, and this remains an important reason for receiving IVF treatment today. However, IVF is now also used to treat many other fertility challenges.

“In vitro” literally means “in glass” in Latin, referring to the fact that during this technique of assisted reproduction treatment, the egg is fertilised with sperm outside of the body – in a glass dish (or “in vitro”) in the lab, before being transferred into the uterus.

All IVF treatments commence with a course of hormone therapy to stimulate the development of several follicles, which each contain a little egg, in the ovary. These follicles are then punctured with a specialized needle under ultrasound guidance to retrieve the eggs, which are then fertilised in a petri dish to create several embryos (fertilised eggs). The embryos are nurtured in the lab, usually for three to five days, before one or two of these embryos are transferred to the mom-to-be’s uterus, where one will hopefully implant and become a pregnancy.

Of course, just like in natural conception, not every embryo implants to become a pregnancy. For this reason, the embryos that are not used during an IVF cycle are frozen for use in a next IVF cycle, should the current cycle not be successful.

At Medfem Fertility Clinic, our team implements individualised IVF stimulation protocols. This means that our IVF stimulation protocols are customized for each patient according to a multitude of factors. These include, for example, the infertility diagnosis, the patient’s age, weight and height, the outcome of previous IVF cycles and prior reproductive history.

Another option for those couples who do not achieve a pregnancy with a number of artificial insemination treatments as a result of poor sperm quality, is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI.

ICSI treatment is used as part of In Vitro Fertilisation treatment for those who have severe male infertility. During this procedure in the IVF process, instead of simply mixing the retrieved eggs with sperm “in vitro” to allow for natural fertilisation, the sperm is directly injected into the egg,
Since only a few normal sperm are needed for conception using ICSI, even men who were previously seen as completely sterile now have an excellent chance to have their own child and an alternative to donor sperm. Since it was developed in Belgium in 1992, ICSI treatment has been used worldwide and has proven extremely successful in achieving fertilisation, resulting in tens of thousands of babies being born. It is regarded as one of the major breakthroughs in the treatment of infertility and has revolutionised male infertility treatment.

Is artificial insemination the right treatment for you?

If you would like to know more about artificial insemination, or whether it is the right treatment option for you, we would like to invite you to meet one of our fertility specialists.

Medfem Fertility Clinic’s team are committed and understanding team of medical professionals, who have the experience, knowledge and desire to provide you with the best chance of a successful outcome at the end of your treatment.

For more than 40 years, we have assisted couples struggling with infertility to experience the joy of parenthood, helping to bring more than 18,000 babies into the world.

If you would like to meet one of our fertility specialists, simply click here to book an initial consultation or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.

We look forward to meeting you!


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