Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation and Artificial Insemination (COH/AI) Can Help You Start a Family
Determining your Candidacy
If your dreams of building a family have been hindered by infertility, controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and artificial insemination (COH/AI) may be a viable treatment option to help you conceive. Candidates for the procedure should have normal eggs, a healthy uterus, and at least one normally functioning fallopian tube. The partner's sperm must also be healthy. In some cases, donated sperm may be used. Candidacy may be negatively effected by conditions like endometriosis, or abnormal tubal or gamete function.
Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation
The first step in the COH/AI process is stimulation of the ovaries using fertility drugs. Injections of a follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), often complemented with luteinizing hormone (LH), initiate the development of ovulatory follicles. Once the leading follicle matures, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is used to prompt the release of an egg or eggs, which occurs about 36 to 48 hours after the injection is administered.
The term "artificial insemination" refers to the process of directly inserting sperm into a woman's cervix or uterus. Once the semen sample has been treated to wash and process only healthy, normally functioning sperm, it can be injected into the uterus via intrauterine insemination (IUI), which is preferred over inserting sperm into the cervix.
Compared to alternative infertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), COH/AI is a relatively simple procedure with few side effects. It is often recommended as an initial form of treatment to address both male and female infertility. The technique has been found to be effective in treating a wide range of conditions, including hormonal or ovulatory dysfunction, decreased menstrual periods, low semen volume, and abnormal sperm morphology.
Because it is a relatively simple treatment, COH/AI is very affordable compared to other, more complex procedures. In fact, it typically costs less than one fifth of the total expense associated with one round of IVF. However, IVF generally has a higher success rate, meaning patients may need to undergo multiple rounds of COH/AI treatment before they become pregnant. The specialists at the Fertility Institute individualize each patient's treatment, so a consultation is the first step towards determining the total cost of your options.