Artificial Insemination: how well it works, who it is for and what it entails

Artificial Insemination: how well it works, who it is for and what it entails

 

Artificial Insemination (AI) – which is also known as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) – is the technique of placing sperm directly into the uterus. It is usually one of the first treatments used to assist those who are having difficulty becoming pregnant, because it is a relatively low-tech solution to a range of infertility problems.

How Well Artificial Insemination Treatment Works

During normal intercourse, only a small amount of sperm makes it to the woman’s uterus and into the fallopian tubes where fertilisation takes place. In the artificial insemination procedure, large amounts of the best performing sperm are inserted directly into a woman’s uterus, significantly increasing the chance of fertilisation.

Success rates using the artificial insemination technique vary. Some patient groups – for example, lesbian and single women – can do very well. In general, a healthy woman under the age of 35 can expect a pregnancy rate of between 9% and 15% per cycle – however, this depends on the woman’s age and egg quality and whether her tubes are healthy, as well as on whether the male partner’s sperm count is within normal limits. It is common for a woman to undertake multiple inseminations.

However, where there is a problem with the quality of the sperm, the chance of pregnancy has been found to drop to approximately 10% per cycle, even if artificial insemination is performed following ovarian stimulation. Artificial insemination may never achieve a pregnancy in cases where the sperm count is very low, and in these cases Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) – a procedure in which sperm are directly injected into the egg – is always recommended. You can read more about ICSI here

Fertility specialists might try three cycles of artificial insemination, and if these are not successful, recommend more advanced methods such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), which – unlike artificial insemination – involves egg collection or IV sedation. You can read more about what IVF treatment entails here

When Is Artificial Insemination Treatment Required?

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).

It is also used in conjunction with donor sperm by female same sex couples or by women who don’t have a partner. In fact, it has become the most commonly used fertility treatment for lesbian and single women.

However, it is not a suitable treatment for women with severely damaged or blocked fallopian tubes – the treatment options for this are discussed here

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

* physical problems with sexual intercourse – 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;
* mucos 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.

How is Artificial Insemination Done?

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

Artificial insemination can be performed with sperm from a male partner or from a sperm donor. Medfem Fertility Clinic has a large donor insemination program. We have treated single women and lesbian couples for many years, and offer advice in a relaxed, friendly and informal surrounding. Sperm donors are screened for sexually transmittable agents (including HIV) and genetically inherited diseases.

The procedure is usually painless and requires only a few minutes. A few women will experience temporary menstrual-like cramping. All normal activities can be resumed after the procedure.

What are the Risks of Artificial Insemination?

Artificial insemination – and more specifically the medications that may be required – involve limited risks. One is the risk of multiple pregnancies, which some couples may consider a double blessing instead of a risk, and another is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).

The risk of multiple pregnancies is increased as fertility medications can cause more than one follicle to develop. At Medfem Fertility Clinic, our fertility specialists will closely monitor you while you are taking them. If your doctor notices more than three maturing follicles on ultrasound prior to the procedure, the artificial insemination may be cancelled for that treatment cycle. For those having trouble conceiving, having twins may seem like a blessing, but complications such as miscarriage and low birth weight are much more common in twins than in single pregnancies.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is a rare but potentially life-threatening medical condition which may occur when your ovaries have been overly stimulated by fertility medications. The ovaries may increase in size and produce large amounts of fluid. It is characterized by pain and bloating in your abdomen. If severe, it can cause problems with breathing or urinating. At Medfem Fertility Clinic, our fertility specialists will closely monitor you while you are taking fertility medication.

What Are the Costs Involved in Artificial Insemination Treatment?

Below are some estimated costs for the common procedures involved in artificial insemination treatment.

* Artificial Insemination – Sperm from male partner: R7,570.00
* Sperm Wash: R1,683.00
* Artificial Insemination – Sperm from Donor: R13,921.00
(Prices valid until December 2019)

However, it is important to understand that this procedure and its costs are part of a comprehensive treatment plan. In addition, the cost will vary from couple to couple based on numerous variables, such as whether fertility medications or donor sperm are required. In addition, more than one treatment cycle may be required.

Read more about the cost of artificial insemination treatment here

Artificial Insemination Treatment Clinics

It is very important to make the right choice when deciding at which fertility clinic you will receive artificial insemination treatment. The road to becoming a parent when you are facing fertility issues can be a tough challenge, not just medically, but also emotionally and financially.

For this reason, you want to ensure you are choosing the right team with the right equipment, experience and technology to help you achieve the pregnancy you dream of.

Read more about the right clinic for artificial insemination treatment here

The First Step

Starting artificial insemination treatment can be a very exciting time, taking you another step closer to becoming parents.

The first step to receiving artificial insemination treatment is as simple as contacting us. To book your initial consultation, click here or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.

We look forward to meeting you!

At the first consultation, you will meet one of our four IVF specialists to discuss your medical history, conduct a comprehensive infertility work up, explore the options, and start to plan your journey to parenthood.

The Cost of Artificial Insemination (AI) in South Africa

The Cost of Artificial Insemination (AI) in South Africa

 

In making your dream of having a baby possible, artificial insemination treatment cannot be valued in money. Nevertheless, this life-changing treatment that has helped so many people become parents, does involve certain costs, as with all medical treatments.

The short answer to the question “How much does artificial insemination cost in South Africa?” is that a cycle of artificial insemination treatment costs R7,570 at Medfem Fertility Clinic in 2019. (Find a detailed list of current treatment costs by clicking here.)

However, it is important to understand that this procedure and its costs are part of a comprehensive treatment plan. In addition, the cost will vary from couple to couple based on numerous variables, such as whether a sperm wash procedure is included and if the sperm used is from the male partner or from a sperm donor.

Bear in mind, too, that fertility treatments require significant expertise in terms of medical, nursing, scientific and pathology staff as well as advanced equipment. In addition, more than one treatment cycle may be required.

What Affects the Cost of Artificial Insemination?

A look at the range of conditions treated with artificial insemination; the variables that affect your fertility treatment plan; the procedure involved; and the possibility of multiple treatment cycles; will provide a more realistic view of what costs may be involved.

Conditions treated by artificial insemination

Artificial insemination is a specialist technique among a range of possible options used to address a variety of fertility issues affecting both male and female partners, such as vaginismus; ovulation problems; mucous hostility; mild endometriosis; low sperm count; and ejaculation problems, including retrograde ejaculation.

It is crucial to your success in achieving a pregnancy that an accurate diagnosis of the exact cause of infertility is made to ensure that the most effective treatment plan is created based on your individual circumstances.

Many of the fertility issues mentioned above could possibly also be treated using fertility treatments other than artificial insemination. A fertility specialist is the most qualified and experienced to accurately determine the cause of your infertility challenges and provide the options regarding the most effective treatment given your unique circumstances.

This is why all fertility treatments – including artificial insemination – start with an initial consultation with your fertility specialist.

Variables that affect your fertility treatment plan

At Medfem Fertility Clinic, you and your partner’s first consultation with one of our highly qualified and experienced fertility specialists will entail a review of your medical history and previous tests, a comprehensive infertility work up including a physical exam, and in-depth explanations and answers to all your questions.

During this first appointment of 30 minutes to an hour, your fertility specialist will also order additional investigations and tests if required to develop with you a personalised fertility treatment plan designed to help you fall pregnant.

The cost of an initial consultation is currently R2,200.00 (prices valid until December 2019) and does not include the cost of further investigations and tests.

Below is an overview of some of the investigation costs, which may be required.

Investigation Costs

* Female blood tests: Up to ±R4,035.00 (depending on the tests requested)
* Male blood tests: Up to ±R4,035.00 (depending on the tests requested)
* Semen Analysis: R1,798.00
(Prices valid until December 2019)

The procedures involved in artificial insemination

Similarly, the specific procedures required in terms of your personalised treatment protocol will also depend on your unique, individualised treatment plan.

Understanding the procedure involved in artificial insemination will help clarify the costs of this specific treatment technique.

In 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.

This is performed in two ways at Medfem Fertility Clinic: in a natural cycle without fertility drugs or in a stimulated cycle with fertility drugs. Should fertility medication be required, it will affect the cost of the treatment. The medications required will also vary from patient to patient, as will the costs.

Artificial insemination can also be performed with sperm from a male partner or from a sperm donor. Medfem Fertility Clinic has a large donor insemination program. Whether donor sperm is used or not also influences the cost of the treatment.

Below are some estimated costs for the common procedures involved in artificial insemination treatment.

* Artificial Insemination – Sperm from male partner: R7,570.00
* Sperm Wash: R1,683.00
* Artificial Insemination – Sperm from Donor: R13,921.00
(Prices valid until December 2019)

The possibility of multiple treatment cycles

The cost of artificial insemination treatment is also affected by the possibility of multiple treatment cycles.

Success rates using the artificial insemination technique vary. In general, a healthy woman under the age of 35 can expect a pregnancy rate of between 9% and 15% per cycle – however, this depends on the woman’s age and egg quality and whether her tubes are healthy, as well as on whether the male partner’s sperm count is within normal limits. It is common for a woman to undertake multiple inseminations.

Fertility specialists might try three cycles of artificial insemination, and if these are not successful, recommend more advanced methods such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Will Medical Aids Cover the Cost of Artificial Insemination Treatment?

Most open medical aids in South Africa do not cover fertility treatments, such as artificial insemination (AI) – which is also known as intrauterine insemination (IUI). In fact, most medical aids in South Africa also do not cover the cost of the initial appointment.

Nevertheless, there are medical aids that will pay for some of the costs and others that pay for treatment of issues related to infertility, such as surgery to address blocked fallopian tubes, the removal of cysts in the womb and treatments for endometriosis. There are also medical aids that offer cover – subject to certain limits – fertility treatments on selected plans.

The best way to find out if your medical aid will cover the costs of artificial insemination is to request your medical aid to confirm in writing which costs related to the treatments required will be covered.

Is There Finance Available for the Cost of Artificial Insemination?

Because fertility treatments are generally not covered by medical aid schemes, covering the cost of procedures such as artificial insemination can place patients under significant financial stress. Finance for fertility treatment, made available by companies such as First Health Finance (FHF) and Incred Medical Finance, may be an option to consider.

Research Your Options

Individual specialists and clinics have varying fee structures. The cost of artificial insemination treatment – like with other medical procedures and treatments – can therefore vary considerably. Some clinics might create a “package” price for fertility treatments, while others may, for example, not include the cost of medications.

Please ensure that you confirm all costs in writing before proceeding with treatments and check whether certain payments need to be made at a specific time, such as pre-payments before treatment begins. Make sure you understand the services provided, what is included in standard charges and what separate or additional fees apply. During your initial consultation at Medfem Fertility Clinic, your fertility specialist will explain the costs of different treatment components. We then provide a written quotation based on a clear treatment plan to ensure you have a full view of the cost implications.

Now that you understand the costs of artificial insemination treatment, as well as the factors that affect the cost, you would want to ensure that you choose the right fertility clinic and the best fertility specialist, to give yourself the best chance for a higher than average success rate. It is also crucial that the clinic you choose is accredited by the Southern African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG).

The Next Step

The next step is simply to set up your initial consultation – you can click here or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.
We look forward to meeting you! At the first consultation, you will meet one of our four specialists, and start to plan your journey to parenthood.

 

Artificial Insemination Clinics in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Artificial Insemination Clinics in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

If you are looking for Artificial Insemination (AI) Clinics in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, you will be pleased to find you will be able to choose from a selection of fertility clinics that offer Artificial Insemination as a treatment for couples trying to become pregnant.

It is very important to make the right choice when deciding at which fertility clinic you will receive artificial insemination treatment. The road to becoming a parent when you are facing fertility issues can be a tough challenge, not just medically, but also emotionally and financially.

For this reason, you want to ensure you are choosing the right team with the right equipment, experience and technology to help you achieve the pregnancy you dream of.

So how would you choose the right fertility clinic for you?

We would suggest the following selection criteria:

* Select a fertility clinic that is accredited with the right authorities and respected in the medical profession.
* Choose a fertility clinic with highly-qualified and experienced fertility experts; advanced facilities; state-of-the-art technologies and a range of fertility treatments.
* A fertility clinic with a success rate that is above the standard will give you the best chance of achieving a pregnancy.

Because there are a number of fertility clinics in Johannesburg, in Gauteng and in South Africa to choose from, making the right choice may seem challenging at first.

There is quite a wide choice for two reasons.

Firstly, the vibrant, bustling city of Johannesburg is the economic centre of South Africa and a leading economy on the African continent. As a result, there are healthcare facilities across the city, equipped to treat healthcare issues of all kinds. In addition to 12 public hospitals, Johannesburg is also home to many private hospitals and specialised private clinics, including fertility clinics that offer artificial insemination treatment.

Secondly, as many as one in six couples around the world experience challenges conceiving within the first year of trying. As a result, there are many couples looking for specialised assistance, such as artificial insemination, from fertility clinics, especially in a big and expanding city like Johannesburg.

So, given the options you are faced with while looking for a fertility clinic offering artificial insemination treatment in Johannesburg, how can you make sure you make the right decision?

Our handy checklist – based on our more than 100 years of collective experience diagnosing and treating infertility – will assist you to compare fertility clinics offering artificial insemination treatment in Johannesburg, enabling you to make the right choice about the clinic that’s most suited to your particular needs. It will help you narrow down your choices and enable you to ultimately select the clinic that is right for you.

1. Accreditation

The accreditations held by a fertility clinic are undoubtedly among the most important aspects to verify when selecting a fertility clinic offering artificial insemination treatment in Johannesburg.

You can visit the website of the Southern African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG) at www.fertilitysa.org.za/ to check that the fertility clinic you are considering is accredited by SASREG. It is also recommended that you give preference to clinics recognised internationally by organisations such as International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART) and the African Network and Registry for Assisted Reproductive Technology.

2. Expertise

Also ensure that you check that the fertility clinic you are considering is home to experts in the field of fertility treatments – from qualified and experienced reproduction specialists to trained, qualified embryologists, theatre staff, nurse practitioners and clinical psychologists; and from pharmacists specialising in fertility medicine to friendly admin staff.

A fertility clinic with a high staff-to-patient ratio will also ensure that you receive personalised attention and excellent care.

3. Facilities

Make sure that the fertility clinic you choose has purpose-built facilities that are furnished with cutting-edge technology and equipment that facilitates advanced fertility treatments. A fertility clinic that offers consultation offices, exam rooms, laboratory facilities, surgical suites and a dedicated fertility pharmacy in one convenient location will also save you a great deal of time and hassle.

4. Treatments

While you are looking for a clinic that offers artificial insemination (AI) treatment – or intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment as it is also called, it is best to choose a fertility clinic that offers the full spectrum of fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilisation (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), assisted hatching, egg and sperm donation, gestational surrogacy and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). This will ensure you can fulfil your fertility dream with one specialist fertility team, regardless of the treatments required.

It is a good idea to look for a fertility clinic that will develop a unique treatment plan for you, based on your personal situation, that will include extensive fertility tests and tailored treatments. Also consider giving preference to a fertility clinic that offers additional support, including specialists and nurses, and counselling by a qualified psychologist, experienced in couples facing fertility challenges.

5. Results

Comparing the success rates achieved by various fertility clinics is one of the best ways to choose among the different clinics. It makes sense that if the fertility clinic you choose has a high success rate, your chances of pregnancy will also be higher. Another handy measure of the results a fertility clinic produces – and the level of service and support it provides its patients – is the comments, feedback and testimonials from the clinic’s patients.

Make the right choice!

It is quite important that you make the right choice when you decide at which fertility clinic you will receive artificial insemination treatment. The right clinic is accredited and staffed by qualified and experienced specialists; and offers advanced facilities; technologies on par with the latest medical advancements and a range of fertility treatments to achieve great success rates. Choosing the right clinic will give you the best chance of becoming pregnant.

Medfem Fertility Clinic – Ticking all the boxes

One clinic that ticks all the boxes is Medfem Fertility Clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. Here’s how we do on the checklist.

1. Accreditation: Medfem Fertility Clinic

* Registered with the Southern African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG)
* Belongs to the African Network and Registry for Assisted Reproductive Technology
* Recognised internationally by the International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART)

2. Expertise: Medfem Fertility Clinic

* Accredited team of reproductive medicine specialists with over 100 years of collective experience
* Internationally recognised as pioneers and innovators in the field of fertility treatment
* Specialist support staff include experienced embryologists; trained, qualified theatre staff, nurse practitioners and clinical psychologists; as well as specialist pharmacists and friendly administration staff
* The highest staff-to-patient ratio of any fertility clinic in South Africa for the best care possible

3. Facilities: Medfem Fertility Clinic

* Located close to Sandton MediClinic
* Consultation offices, exam rooms, laboratory facilities, a surgical suite and a dedicated fertility pharmacy in one location
* Purpose-built medical and surgical facility

4. Treatments: Medfem Fertility Clinic

* Cutting-edge technology and medical advancements not available at smaller clinics
* Equipped with world-class technology
* Significant investment in advanced research and development (R&D)
* Full spectrum of fertility treatments
* Specialists create a customised personal fertility treatment plan for you

5. Results: Medfem Fertility Clinic

* Among the highest pregnancy rates in the nation
* Primary success rate is well above the national rates in South Africa and compares to the best internationally
* Performs an average of 1,100 treatment cycles a year
* Have played a role in bringing more than 16,000 babies into the world

The next step

Once you have made the right choice in terms of the fertility clinic, the next step is to contact us and book an initial consultation.

Simply click here or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.

We look forward to meeting you!

At the first consultation, you will meet one of our four specialists to discuss your medical history, conduct a comprehensive infertility work up, explore the options, and start to plan your journey to parenthood.

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