Insemination is the introduction of sperm cells into the uterus. It is usually the first treatment, if childlessness is due to disturbances in the sperm production of the male partner or to unknown reasons. Treatment of single females and female couples uses also insemination with donated sperm.
Insemination may be performed during the normal menstrual cycle or during a hormonally supported menstrual cycle. This treatment is only possible if the passageway from the ovaries (oviducts) are open and that there is ovulation. The exact time of the ovulation may be assessed by ovulation testing at home, i.e., testing LH of a urine sample. Ovulation may also be secured with the use of hormone injections.
The sperm is processed on the same day as the insemination is performed. When the sperm is processed, dead and poorly moving sperm cells are removed by a form of “washing”. The most mobile sperm cells are introduced into the uterus through a thin catheter. Introducing the catheter is usually painless, and the sperm cells cannot exit the uterus. The washed sperm cells are viable for 24–48 hours (1–2 days), and insemination needs to be carried out as close in time to the ovulation as possible.
If the male partner’s sperm has no sperm cells, donated sperm cells may be used. <0}
Before insemination treatment is started, the couple signs a treatment agreement and the male partner provides a blood sample which Is used to test for some infections (HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C).
When donated sperm cells are used, the patient may select the donor based on the information documented about the donor. The available donor information includes ethnicity, height, eye color and hair color. As a legal requirement in Finland, all donors are registered (Act on Assisted Fertility Treatments 1237/2006). Our clinic acquires donor sperm commercially from abroad.