If it is proving impossible to get pregnant in the conventional way, the doctor can perform so-called insemination (semen transfer). Sperm is introduced into the uterus of the woman with the help of a simple medical procedure. These may be the sperm of one's partner (homologous) or of a sperm donor (heterologous/donor). To do this, the processed sperm are transferred directly into the woman's uterus using a catheter following ovulation, which is triggered by hormonal stimulation. Insemination is often used in the case of mild fertility disorders in the man, for example.
At the moment of natural ovulation, specially prepared sperm from the male partner are transferred directly into the uterus cavity with the help of a thin catheter for insemination (= IUI).
Insemination is recommended:
When the man shows a degree of infertility
If distinctive features of the cervix show that there will be interference with the ascension of sperm to the uterine cavity (e.g. a narrow cervix or anomalies in the area of the uterine neck)
For same sex couples, e.g. lesbian couples
The pregnancy rate of IUI is at most 10-15% per cycle. The insemination should be successful after two attempts, as after this the couple should be advised to try the path of IVF.
In cases of complete infertility of the male partner, sperm from an anonymous donor may be used for an insemination.
The fertility clinics of TFP have a large sperm bank at both clinics (in Wels and Vienna). In the scope of a detailed anamnesis, the couple are assigned a suitable donor. Visual features such as height and weight, hair, skin and eye colour as well as characteristic features are all taken into consideration during the selection. The compatibility of the donor’s blood group with that of the partner is checked, as is the level of education.
Insemination using donor sperm has a long and successful history.
Once Antoni van Leeuwenhoek discovered sperm filaments under the microscope in 1677, doctors began to develop theories about the relevance of his discovery for reproduction. In 1884, Dr William Pencoast carried out the first insemination using donated sperm on a married woman. However, his efforts failed to win him any recognition. More recently, this method of reproduction has been gaining popularity. The media enjoys discussing this controversial topic in public.