The insemination shortens the way of the sperm to the egg in the woman. Find out here which two methods exist and for whom they are suitable.


The insemination is the transfer of semen into the female genital tract. Usually, this happens during intercourse. Insemination usually refers to artificial insemination. This is usually done by the doctor, but sometimes also at home. Here's how artificial sperm transmission works, who it is for, and what the chances of success are.

What is an insemination?

Basically, artificial insemination is an assisted type of fertilization. This means that the sperm of the man with some support on the way to the uterus. This procedure is also known as artificial insemination or semen transfer.

There are various options for this, either with or without medical help. The latter is the IUI, the intrauterine insemination, ie the transmission directly into the uterus (uterus). If the sperm of one's partner is used, it is a homologous insemination. If foreign donor sperm is used (in hereditary diseases, inadequate spermiogram, lesbian couples), doctors speak of a heterologous or donogenic insemination.

Further information

Read more about the direct transfer of sperm into the uterus in the article IUI: Intrauterine Insemination.

How does an insemination work?

The goal of insemination is to get as many potent sperm cells as possible to the egg at the right time. Therefore, it is important to closely monitor the cycle and ovulation in advance. In medical practice, this is done via ultrasound and hormone analysis.

When self-inseminating at home you have to determine the right time with ovulation test or cycle computer yourself. Generally, the best time to inseminate is two to five days before ovulation.

The sperm itself is mostly won over masturbation.

Insemination: expiration

When the time comes, the doctor injects the previously prepared sperm via a thin catheter directly into the uterus. If you take the insemination yourself, you must first purchase some remedies. You can do the home session with an insemination cap, funnel, beaker or insemination syringe. Basically, you carry the semen in this way to the vaginal entrance (intravaginal insemination). The semen sample must be fresh for this because the sperm in the seminal fluid are only able to survive for a limited time.

Staying a while longer may improve your chances of getting pregnant.

For whom is an insemination suitable?

Whether you choose an IUI or a home stay, the following physical requirements must be met by the woman and the sperm donor:

  • continuous functional fallopian tubes
  • Well constructed uterine mucus for implantation
  • Ovulation must take place
  • fertile and motile sperm
  • sufficient sperm count

In principle, sperm transmission is recommended for couples without a serious cause of childlessness (idiopathic sterility) or when direct sexual contact is not possible or should be avoided (HIV infection).

An artificial insemination at home is just for single women who are denied access to artificial insemination in Germany, a way to fulfill the desire to have children even without a permanent partner. Provided you find a private sperm donor. Of course, this also applies to lesbian couples who want to do a home stay. Since homosexual couples have to cover most of the costs of artificial insemination themselves, this method is a cheaper alternative.

Even heterosexual couples who have problems getting pregnant naturally can help with self-insemination. If the woman is HIV positive, a home insemination may restrict a virus transfer to the partner. If the man is affected, however, the sperm must be examined closely. As a matter of principle, couples should definitely seek medical advice in case of HIV infection before insemination.

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Insemination: chances for success

The chances of getting pregnant are between 15 and 40 percent for the doctor's IUI, depending on how many cycles are passed. The age of the mother and the hormonal stimulation decide whether the insemination is successful.

Basically, the success rate with the IUI is higher than with the home insemination, as the semen sample is injected directly into the uterus. In self-insemination, the sperm only land at the entrance to the vagina and have to make it to the ovum itself. So a lot can go wrong.In addition, the ejaculate is processed during the medically assisted intrauterine insemination and the cell count is optimized, which further increases the chances of success.

Advantages and disadvantages of insemination

No matter if IUI or home insemination: The actual semen transfer is relatively uncomplicated and painless. Also, the financial expenses are limited. However, the cycle must be closely watched until the upcoming ovulation.

It can be distressing when the woman undergoes hormone therapy to promote the maturation of oocytes. Overstimulation, including ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, or multiple pregnancy can lead to complications.

Basically, one is insemination in the spontaneous cycle, the least risky of all assisted reproduction methods.

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