Are you considering having in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination for pregnancy?
Choosing whether to have Artificial Insemination or In Vitro Fertilization both have their advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we discuss the important points you need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization.
Artificial Insemination and In Vitro Fertilization
Artificial insemination is a fertility treatment used to deliver sperm directly to the cervix or uterus to increase the chances of getting pregnant. There are times that a man’s sperm is not mobile enough to travel through the cervix into the uterus, and into a fallopian tube where an egg is fertilized.
In some instances, a woman’s cervix may have problems that make it difficult to allow the sperm to travel into the uterus. These problems are being addressed by artificial insemination in some way to help a woman conceive.
Some women may be unfit for artificial insemination because of underlying fertility problems that make conception not probable. If a woman’s both fallopian tubes are removed she won’t be able to get pregnant through artificial insemination. So, a doctor may recommend in vitro fertilization (IVF).
This is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART). It is a method wherein eggs from a woman and sperm from a man are extracted. The sperm will be used to fertilize an egg. Then, the fertilized eggs are allowed to grow as embryos. This will be transferred by a doctor into a woman’s uterus where the embryo waits to be implanted and a woman conceives.
Advantages of AI and IVF
Some couples who have trouble conceiving became successful with using the treatment of Artificial Insemination. This is what doctors usually suggest first as a treatment for infertility. AI is fast and almost painless. They compare the procedure to a Pap smear. It closely resembles natural conception.
AI does not require too much personnel intervention, an operating room, or embryo culture with complex maintenance and handling which makes it cost lower than IVF treatments.
IVF is one of the most effective ARTs available. Statistics show that more than 8 million babies have been born from IVF since 1978, says Cleveland Clinic. In IVF, there is what they call “sperm washing”. This procedure is necessary to remove harmful substances and decrease the formation of oxygen radicals which enhances sperm quality.
Disadvantages of AI and IVF
There are side effects that may be experienced by some women such as cramping or light bleeding after the procedure. Sometimes the process of placing the catheter in the uterus causes a small amount of vaginal bleeding. They are also likely to experience a pelvic infection or inflammation after.
If you are taking fertility medications as well as doing artificial insemination, it increases the probability of having multiple children like twins or triplets and also the health risks for both the mother and the babies. Multiple pregnancies are risky for early labor, low birth weight, or miscarriage.
There is also a risk of ectopic pregnancy wherein the eggs implant outside the uterus. And a rare condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) which involves an excess of fluid in the abdomen and chest.
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics stated that intrauterine insemination (IUI) can cost from $460 up to $1,500 excluding prices for fertility medications. There will also be costs for consultation, semen testing, and ultrasound monitoring.
IVF is also a complex and expensive procedure that’s why only about 5% of couples with infertility try this method. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the average cost of an IVF cycle in the U.S. costs $12,000 to $17,000. And it still varies depending on the place where you live, the number of medications you need to take, the number of IVF cycles you need to go through, and the amount of your insurance coverage.
Making a decision to undergo Artificial Insemination or In Vitro Fertilization is an incredibly complicated decision. You need to weigh the pros and cons reasonably and the financial, physical, and emotional toll of this process. Seek advice from your healthcare providers and talk it out with your partner making sure you are on the same page.