When it comes to conception and childbirth, many assume that it’s just a simple, natural process. It really is a miracle, however. And for some it’s a miracle that doesn’t come easy. Those struggling with fertility problems may end up having to use in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination, and one of these procedures may have to be used in a surrogacy situation to allow a gestational mother to carry a couple’s child for them.
For many, artificial insemination is a term that they’re vaguely familiar with but that they don’t fully understand. If you’re thinking of using surrogacy or even artificial insemination on your own, understanding more about it and its benefits and drawbacks is well worth doing.
Before we get into the pros and cons of artificial insemination, let’s take a moment to explain exactly what it is. This may help you understand more about what to expect and why the procedure works so well in most cases.
Artificial insemination is nothing more than the introduction of sperm into a uterine cavity with the goal of creating a pregnancy. It’s used by those who are unable to conceive on their own for whatever reason, and in some cases donor sperm may be used if the male partner has no viable sperm.
It’s one option during surrogacy as well, and is often the easiest path to pregnancy for those struggling with it or those who wish to undergo surrogacy.
Benefits of Artificial Insemination
There are several benefits of artificial insemination that help explain why it’s become one of the most popular ways to overcome conception problems – and why so many use it as the first step on the way to having a child as well as a basis for surrogacy.
- Artificial insemination has a very high rate of success – roughly 80%. This applies to couples who have struggled with infertility in the past. If it’s used in a surrogacy situation, the chances of success are even higher.
- It’s also a very safe procedure. Regardless of where the sperm is obtained from, it is always tested to ensure less risk of genetic defects and other issues.
- There are fewer side effects for the woman involved int eh process. It is a less invasive process and essentially allows natural fertilization to take place in the body instead of implanting an embryo after it has been formed.
- One of the biggest benefits for those looking to conceive is that artificial insemination is much more affordable. An IVF cycle can cost more than $8,000 on average, but artificial insemination is just over $800. In situations where surrogacy is being used, the costs are already high and artificial insemination instead of IVF can reduce the overall costs in a significant way.
These benefits show just why so many turn to artificial insemination as a first step when trying to conquer infertility. However, it’s also used in surrogacy when it fits into the plan, and can provide you with the desired outcome that you need.
Cons of Artificial Insemination
Just as there are benefits, there are cons as well when it comes to artificial insemination. Here are some of the main things to consider before you finalize your decision to use it.
- There is an increased risk of multiple births when using this method. This is especially true when hormones are being used to stimulate ovulation. In surrogacy situations, it’s not always needed, but there is an increased chance of having more than a single child.
- In surrogacy, basic artificial insemination means that the gestational mother will be biologically related to the child. Often, this is a moot point as the intended mother is infertile, but it’s an important factor to note.
- There is some evidence to suggest that it may carry an increased chance of birth defects in the child.
- There is also a slight increase in risk of infections since sperm can never be 100% sterilized. In 1% of cases, an infection known as endometriosis may occur.
Still, these risks are often far outweighed by the benefits offered by artificial insemination and make it a go-to choice for those looking to conceive. Even in a surrogacy situation, it’s a solution that can provide very real, affordable results when compared to the relatively minor risks associated with it.
Knowing Your Options
It is important to know all of your options as artificial insemination may not even be feasible for some couples. Knowing more about your specific situation and what you need from it is important. For those looking to surrogacy, talking to the surrogacy agency about your current situation is the key to learning more about what options you have.
Talk it over with your partner and your provider and you should be able to determine if artificial insemination is the right path to take. For many, it will be.