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What is the Average Cost of Artificial Insemination?

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By Johnny Bevers

Artificial Insemination, or AI, is a medical procedure that was introduced in the early part of the last century.  The procedure is one where the sperm of a male donor are placed directly into a woman’s uterus or, less commonly, into her cervix or fallopian tubes.  This means that the sperm will not have to travel as far to reach the egg and can bypass any possible obstructions.  The hoped for result is, of course, pregnancy.

Health Risks Associated with Artificial Insemination

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There are relatively few risks associated with artificial insemination as it is a relatively simple procedure, and because sperm donors are screened for transmittable diseases both before and after donating.  Some women report some slight cramping during the procedure while others report slight bleeding afterwards, but in almost all cases these are healthy reactions and nothing to worry about.  There is also a slight risk of infection, but in a clean, well-run clinic or hospital this risk is negligible.  In most cases, the woman will be asked to lie still on her back for 15 minutes after the procedure, but can then go about her day as normal.

Why Do People Choose to Receive Artificial Insemination?

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There are several reasons why a woman or couple may elect to receive artificial insemination.  By far the most common reason couples elect to receive artificial insemination is as a treatment for infertility, either in the man or the woman.  However, same sex couples, or single women who wish to have a child may also choose to undergo artificial insemination.  In addition, couples who, for one reason or another, are unable to have sex may also see artificial insemination as an attractive option.

Average Cost of Artificial Insemination

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The average cost of artificial insemination is between 300 and 700 dollars per cycle (up to $2000 based on your doctor and rates in your local area), depending on where the woman or couple chooses to have the treatment.  A cycle refers to the woman’s reproductive cycle.  Using a range of simple, non-invasive tests, the clinic or hospital will calculate the best time for the woman to undergo artificial insemination.  This optimum time to receive artificial insemination occurs just once a month, hence women will receive one cycle of treatment per month.  The average cost of artificial insemination may rise though if additional treatment or tests are needed.  These additional treatments or tests may include consultancy fees, ultra sounds or a course of fertility drugs.  It is important to also remember that the woman may need more than one cycle of treatment before she becomes pregnant.  This can sharply increase the cost.  For those who chose to receive treatment abroad, the average cost of artificial insemination may drop.

How Effective is Artificial Insemination?

The most common kind of artificial insemination is intrauterine insemination, or IUI, where the sperm is placed directly in the uterus.  This form of artificial insemination has an average success rate of approximately 15 percent.  However, there are many factors to consider such as age, health of the sperm and so on which may make a woman more or less likely to become pregnant after receiving artificial insemination.  It is, of course, conceivable that a woman might become pregnant after just one cycle of IUI, but equally true that a woman may have to receive artificial insemination many times before she became pregnant.  Sometimes, even after repeated cycles of treatment, pregnancy does not occur.

Why Do Some People Choose To Have Artificial Insemination Abroad?

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People generally choose to have artificial insemination abroad for two main reasons.  The first reason is that artificial insemination may be banned in the country in which they live.  This is true of countries such as Austria, Italy and Turkey, which recently even banned its citizens from receiving treatment abroad.  Or, there might be comparatively strict regulations regarding the use of A.I., in their country.  Citizens of Norway, for example, have to show proof of a stable relationship before they can receive treatment.  Another reason why many couples or women choose to receive treatment abroad is that treatment may be cheaper abroad, in part due to lower labor costs.  If you consider the fact that most women are likely to require more than one cycle of treatment, the lower costs in certain countries look even more attractive.  Although countries like India, Thailand or Malaysia may at first sound like bad choices due to health issues; both countries can in fact boast some truly excellent private hospitals and clinics.  Bumrungrad International Hospital, for example, is an internationally renowned hospital in Bangkok which enjoys a sterling reputation for top-notch conditions and excellent doctors.  For US Citizens, countries closer to home such as Mexico and Argentina also possess private clinics with excellent conditions and doctors.

So, should women or couples seeking artificial insemination go abroad to receive treatment?  Well, if money is an issue or their country does not allow artificial insemination, it is certainly something to consider.  However, it is important that women or couples research the country and the clinic they are planning on traveling to well before they leave.  Also, if they are traveling abroad to receive treatment for financial reasons, they should calculate exactly how much money they would be saving.  When travel, accommodation and living costs are factored in, savings may be less than originally thought.

Artificial Insemination and the Single Woman

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Single women who, in the absence of a male partner, wish to become pregnant may choose to undergo artificial insemination.  In this case they require the services of a sperm donor who donates either to a sperm bank or, on occasion, directly to the women who requires the sperm.  When using a sperm bank, one is able to choose sperm based on the eye color, weight, height etc. of the donor.  An important issue for single women who choose to receive artificial insemination is whether they wish the sperm donor to be an anonymous donor from a sperm bank, or a known donor such as a good friend or willing volunteer.  This decision will determine whether their child grows up knowing who his or her biological father is.  And, the decision also determines whether the biological father knows who his child is. What to Do If Artificial Insemination Doesn’t Work.  If artificial insemination does not produce pregnancy then unfortunately, it may be time to look at more expensive, complicated courses of treatment.  Chief amongst these is IVF, or in vitro fertilization.  In this procedure, an egg is removed from the woman who wishes to become pregnant and fertilized by sperm outside the body, before being returned to the woman’s uterus as an embryo.  Another common procedure is ICSI, or Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection.  It is similar to IVF in that an egg is removed and fertilized outside the woman’s body, but in this procedure, rather than fertilization occurring in a dish, the sperm of a male donor is injected directly into the egg.  The embryo is then placed back into the uterus.

Artificial insemination is a procedure that more and more women and couples are choosing to undergo.  This is because it is a straight-forward, mostly risk-free procedure with relatively high success-rates.  However, the average cost of artificial insemination can rise significantly if the woman needs two or more cycles of treatment.  Doctors often suggest six cycles of treatment before looking at alternative procedures.  Because, just one cycle can cost between 300 and 700 dollars, the cost rises steeply if six cycles are necessary.  This can be a significant amount of money to many people, and there is no guarantee of success.

The video below is a 3d animation of how IUI works.

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