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Intracervical artificial insemination (ICI)

Intracervical artificial insemination (ICI)



Many couples struggling with infertility choose to go for ovulation problems or have cervical mucus.
There are four main types of artificial insemination:

  • IUI or intrauterine insemination
  • ICI or intracervical insemination
  • IVI or intravaginal insemination
  • ITI or intra-tubal insemination.
    Intracervical insemination
    ICI is one of the most common artificial insemination procedures used. It is a painless and fast procedure that helps to store your partner's sperm directly into your cervix. This can help increase the chances of sperm entering the uterus and from there into the uterine tubes where they will fertilize an egg. Couples often opt for ICI, because it is associated with a good success rate and is cheaper than the IUI procedure. ICI is usually performed by the specialist doctor in the local fertility clinic.
    indications
    ICI is particularly beneficial for couples who have specific fertility problems. Couples who choose to perform an ICI procedure are usually fertile and do not have morphological problems with their reproductive organs. Couples often opt for ICI when the male partner has difficulty ejaculating during intercourse because the procedure allows the placement of sperm inside the female genital tract artificially. You can also choose HERE if:
  • you have natural ovulation
  • you have ovulation as a result of taking Clomid or other fertility drugs
  • you use a sperm donor
  • you use a surrogate.
    How to do it
    The appointment
    As with any artificial insemination procedure, ICI must be correctly programmed to be successful. ICI is usually practiced near the time of ovulation to have the highest chances of conception. Urine or blood tests will be performed to check the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the body. When the LH level reaches a maximum, it indicates ovulation. Usually, ICI will be performed once in the next 24 hours and again at 12 hours after the initial procedure.
    Intracervical insemination procedure
    The ICI procedure is relatively easy and can be performed in less than 10 minutes. It is usually performed by an endocrinologist who specializes in reproduction or another doctor from your local clinic:
  • you will be asked to lie down on an examination table
  • a speculum is inserted into your vagina; this is a plastic or metal tool that helps the doctor keep the vagina open and expose the cervix
  • a thin plastic tube, called a catheter, is inserted into your vagina until it reaches the cervix; a syringe filled with the sperm of the partner is attached at the end of the catheter
  • the sperm sample is pushed out of the syringe and passes through the catheter and is then stored around the cervix
  • a soft sponge capsule can be placed over the cervix to prevent leakage of any sperm; this sponge can be removed after 6-8 hours after the procedure
  • You will be asked to rest for a short period of time after the procedure has been performed, usually 30 minutes.
    Effectiveness
    The success rate of ICI is comparable to that associated with intravaginal insemination. Typically the average success rate varies between 5-30% per cycle, depending on the quality of the sperm used and the doctor who performs it. Insemination is usually done 2 times per cycle to increase the chances of pregnancy. Washed sperm can help increase your chances of success with ICI. Sperm washing is a method of preparation used to remove slower and less healthy sperm.
    Costs
    One of the reasons why ICI is so popular is the low cost associated with the procedure. An ICI cycle typically costs between $ 200 and $ 350, unlike the IUI, which can cost up to $ 600 per cycle. Many couples choose to do an ICI because of the low costs that allow for several treatment cycles. Costs increase if you choose to use washed sperm or use a sperm donor.
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