Doctors in Islamabad randomized 60 couples with unexplained infertility to two groups of thirty couples to receive intrauterine insemination (IUI) for three cycles. Both groups had semen samples prepared using density gradient centrifugation, but the test group’s prep additionally included annexin V coupled to microbeads that worked with a magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS) system to remove dead and damaged sperm cells. Pregnancy rates were much higher in the study group than in the control group (40% versus 16.6%) as were live birth rates (30% versus 13.3%).
Sometimes the woman is treated with medicines that stimulate ovulation before IUI. IUI is often used to treat mild male factor infertility, women who have problems with their cervical mucus, and couples with unexplained infertility.
Sperm banks, as they are called, are as yet unregulated in the US. That means that it’s up to those institutions to set guidelines and policies, like ones that might cap the number of times one donor’s sperm can be used.
100 percent of commercially raised turkeys in the U.S. (save for heritage turkeys) are born from artificial insemination, along with 95 percent of dairy cattle, and 80 percent of pigs.
The federal government regulates the fertility industry in two different ways. One, is it requires clinics to report their success rates when they use advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization. The second form of regulation involves the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, which requires, when sperm and egg are being used - which requires certain types of testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
Artificial insemination [in humans] begins with the collection of semen from the husband or a donor, through masturbation. The semen is either placed in the upper part of the vagina next to the cervix or injected into the uterus through a fine catheter. Insemination is undertaken near the predicted time of ovulation, the time in a woman's menstrual cycle when she has the highest chance of conceiving. The semen used may be fresh or it may have been previously frozen and thawed before use.
As more women choose to have babies on their own, and the number of children born through artificial insemination increases, outsize groups of donor siblings are starting to appear. Now, there is growing concern among parents, donors and medical experts about potential negative consequences of having so many children fathered by the same donors, including the possibility that genes for rare diseases could be spread more widely through the population. Although other countries, including Britain, France and Sweden, limit how many children a sperm donor can father, there is no such limit in the United States.
Artificial insemination has some potential drawbacks, however, that must be considered. First, it can be more labourious. Male animals instinctively detect the females that are in the correct status for conception. With artificial insemination the detection work falls on the responsibility of the farmer. Poor detection results in decreased rates of fertility.
Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield and secretary of the British Fertility Society, said: "It is very important that we have a strong evidence base to support the treatments that are offered to infertile couples and as such this study is very valuable. Intrauterine insemination has been offered to couples with unexplained infertility for many years, but if there is no benefit in doing so then we should re-evaluate the clinical guidelines so that NHS money is used wisely."
Artificial insemination (AI) was the first great biotechnology applied to improve reproduction and genetics of farm animals. It has had an enormous impact worldwide in many species, particularly in dairy cattle. The acceptance of AI technology worldwide provided the impetus for developing other technologies, such as cryopreservation and sexing of sperm, estrous cycle regulation, and embryo harvesting, freezing, culture and transfer, and cloning.