Artificial insemination is also referred to as intrauterine insemination (IUI). For this procedure, a doctor inserts the male partner’s prepared semen through the cervix (the womb) and directly into the uterus.
For many women, whether in same-sex of heterosexual
relationships, falling pregnant takes time. Your ability to naturally conceive
is reliant on a wide number of variables including your age, your diet and
health, and whether you’ve been pregnant before. Your partner’s fertility and
sperm count is another factor that affects conceiving a baby.
For some couples who have struggled to fall pregnant,
it may be necessary to rely on other means of conception. Two examples of these
are artificial insemination and sperm donation. In this article we take a look
at what these two methods involve.
What is Artificial Insemination?
Artificial insemination is also referred to as
intrauterine insemination (IUI) and is one of the less invasive forms of
fertility treatments. For this procedure, a doctor inserts the male partner’s
prepared semen through the cervix (the womb) and directly into the uterus. This
is timed to take place during ovulation to encourage the best chance of
For some couples where the partner’s sperm is not
usable, single women or for same-sex couples, they may opt to use a sperm donor
instead for this procedure.
What is a Sperm Donor?
In some cases, your partner's sperm might not be
usable for a few reasons. Either the sperm isn’t healthy enough to achieve
conception or perhaps you want to avoid passing on a known genetic disease. Or
if you are single and have opted to have a baby, or have a same-sex partner,
then using a sperm donor is a great option.
As with artificial insemination, the donor sperm is
inserted into the cervix and through to the uterus around the time of ovulation
to encourage conception.
Another alternative is for the sperm donation to be
used to fertilise one of the female’s eggs outside of the body in a lab. A
sample of eggs is removed and kept alive, ready to be inserted with the donor's
sperm. Once the egg has been fertilised by the sperm, the embryo is then
inserted back into the womb, where it will hopefully continue to grow. This is
known as In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).
How much does artificial insemination and a
sperm donor cost?
The cost of artificial insemination and finding a
sperm donor can vary. There are specialist fertility clinics that exist to help
you with these decisions and provide advice and guidance based on your
individual circumstances and needs.
Typically the cost for one procedure of artificial
insemination can cost anywhere between $300-600. Keep in mind this does not
include consultation fees, and fertility testing will need to take place first
to test how well you might respond to artificial insemination. You will also
need to consider how many attempts might be needed before you fall pregnant and
factor this into your ongoing costs.
This is the same for sperm donation. If you are
looking to use an anonymous donor, depending on the clinic, this can cost
anywhere between $300 and $4000.
Fertility clinics do not all charge the same fee per
procedure, and it is worth researching and meeting with a few different clinics
and physicians to make sure you find the one that is the best fit for you
personally, not just based on price.
How do you find a sperm donor?
Many fertility clinics will have an inhouse sperm
donation program where they can provide you with basic details about your sperm
donor. These are typically anonymous donations but the clinic can help you with
basic details about the donor's appearance and medical history to help you make
an informed decision. If your fertility clinic does not offer a sperm donor
program, they will usually be able to refer you to a local clinic that does or
a sperm bank (these are usually a part of main hospitals).
Other couples prefer to find a sperm donor they know
and ask a friend or family member to donor for them. This can be a popular
decision when the male partner’s sperm is not usable and the couple would
prefer to find a close genetic match for their baby.
However you approach the sperm donation process, your
doctor or fertility consultant will be on hand to provide advice and support
There is no real way to determine this generally, as
each couple and individual are different and may have many different reasons
behind being unable to conceive naturally. For most couples undergoing this
procedure, it usually takes 2-3 attempts before they fall pregnant.
Fertility clinics exist to be able to really support
you with this part of your pregnancy journey. They can offer in depth
scientifically backed testing and programs to help you and your partner
understand your individual fertility needs and create a program that supports
you both towards falling pregnant.
It’s really important to speak openly with both your
partner and your doctor when you are on this journey. Facing infertility can be
stressful and emotional and many fertility clinics offer full counselling
support for couples undergoing treatment.
Welcome to Babyinfo – the ultimate pregnancy and newborn information guide. We are here to help you find all the pregnancy and baby info you need to make the most beautiful experience of your life even better.
Our team is comprised of an amazing mix of experienced mothers, recently pregnant women, and editors with tremendous medical knowledge in the fields of gynaecology and childbirth.
Think of us as your friendly advisors, here to give you honest, easy to understand and authentic information. We are here to be your support at this crucial time in your life, when you need it the most.
Note: This website is in no way meant to replace doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare providers that may be utilized by current mothers or mothers-to-be. All mothers are advised to see a doctor for medical advice and the appropriate care before, during, and after pregnancy.