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What are the main steps in the AI process?

By Andrea Rodrigo B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).
Last Update: 03/17/2022

The process followed to perform artificial insemination is as follows:

  • Ovulation stimulation: the patient receives low-dose hormonal treatment to stimulate the production of one or two ovules and control the exact moment of ovulation. The medication is injected subcutaneously from the 2nd or 3rd day of the period and for approximately 8-12 days.

    The stimulation will be controlled by means of ultrasound scans and hormonal analyzes that will allow the doctor to determine when ovulation is, that is, the ideal moment for insemination.

  • Ovulation induction: when the specialist observes that one or two follicles (the place where the ovules mature) have an adequate size (between 16-18mm), the hormone hCG is administered, which will trigger ovulation about 24-36 hours after administration.
  • Obtaining the sperm: the future father will deposit a semen sample obtained by masturbation, preferably in the clinic itself. Sexual abstinence of between 3 to 7 days is required. It is also important to obtain the complete sample.
  • Spermatic capacitation: once the ejaculate is obtained, it goes through a process known as sperm capacitation. It is about eliminating dead and immobile sperm as well as seminal plasma, to concentrate the sample in high-quality sperm. This occurs naturally throughout the female reproductive tract.
  • Insemination: through a special cannula, approximately 0.5 ml of capacitated semen are introduced and deposited in the woman's uterus through the vagina. Since it is a painless process, it does not require anesthesia. The duration is approximately 10 minutes. Later, the woman can return home and continue with her daily routines.
  • Pregnancy test: about 15 days after insemination, the patient can take a pregnancy test. This test measures the hormone beta-hCG, which is why this waiting period is known as "the beta-wait."

In the event that the couple cannot be present at the time of the insemination, the sample will be obtained previously and will be frozen until the day of the insemination, when it will be thawed and deposited in the woman.

 Andrea Rodrigo
Andrea Rodrigo
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics.
Embryologist. Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics.