The Facts: Natural Insemination vs. Artificial Insemination
Today more than ever before there are many different choices when it comes to how to get pregnant and have a child and natural insemination is one of them. Insemination is now a choice when a couple cannot conceive and have a child on their own, or if a single person wants to give birth to a child. There are two kinds of insemination: artificial and natural.
Artificial insemination is when the woman who wants to bear the child or couple who wants to parent the child goes to a sperm bank and picks out and purchases sperm. Sperm can be selected based on many kinds of qualities from wanting blue eyes to a certain IQ level. The sperm can then be inserted into the woman’s reproductive tract. This is a way for men who are infertile to be able to parent a child that comes from the wife.
Natural insemination is when there is intercourse between the sperm donor and the woman who is to become pregnant. This not the most used method of insemination but some people prefer it because of its non-mechanical nature. Sometimes, however, a husband would rather get the sperm from a sperm bank so that his wife does not have sex with another man.
The concept of donating sperm whether by natural insemination or artificial insemination is a moral dilemma for many but it also turns the roles in conventional traditional relationships on their heads. No matter whether you agree or disagree with the whole idea of insemination, all types of ethical situations come into play, including what role the sperm donor will play in the child’s life.
Sperm donation is being increasingly used by single or coupled lesbians and by single women. So much so, in fact, that among some sperm banks, these are the primary recipients of donated sperm. In previous decades, the childless heterosexual couple who were infertile were the people aimed at by sperm bank advertising. Not any more.
Artificial insemination began in the agricultural industry and is the preferred method for impregnating most female animals on the farm. It wasn’t until the 1970s that human artificial insemination started being used as a treatment for infertility. In the beginning the only technique was known as ICI--intracervical insemination. Today most women are inseminated via IUI--intrauterine insemination.
In artificial insemination, a small, flexible tube is used to place the sperm of the donor into the reproductive tract. The sperm is washed and concentrated to increase the chances that conception will be successful. When a woman uses intracervical insemination, the sperm of the donor is placed right into the cervix. It is usually painless and the sperm has an excellent chance of making it through the fallopian tubes and fertilizing the egg.
With intrauterine insemination the sperm is artificially placed in the uterus. It can also be combined with ovarian stimulation and the sperm placed in the fallopian tubes. This form of insemination is most often used when the guy has problems producing sperm and the woman has a cervical mucus condition. It is also used when the causes of infertility are not known.
Both of these forms of artificial insemination cost less than in vitro fertilization, where the sperm and egg are introduced in a Petri dish and then inserted into the uterus.
As you can see, if a couple wanted the least mechanical means of using donated sperm it would be by natural insemination. Technically, it would be most risky in terms of sterility and safety because the semen would not have been washed of harmful chemicals and there is always the possibility of transferring a sexual disease. In both natural insemination and artificial insemination, follow-up with ultrasounds and blood tests is necessary.