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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

Artificial insemination is a procedure used to treat infertility. Healthcare providers put sperm into your vagina near the cervix or directly into the uterus. The cervix is the bottom part of your uterus. Sperm may come from your partner or a sperm bank, or be donated by someone else.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


  • Pelvic exam: Your healthcare provider gently puts a warmed speculum into your vagina. A speculum is a tool that opens your vagina. This lets your healthcare provider see your cervix. Your healthcare provider checks the size and shape of your uterus and ovaries. A pelvic exam is also called an internal or vaginal exam.
  • Blood and urine tests: Your healthcare provider may do blood or urine tests to check your hormone levels. The level of certain hormones, such as luteinizing hormone, can show that your ovaries are ready to ovulate.
  • Vaginal ultrasound: A small tube is placed in your vagina. Sound waves are used to show pictures of your uterus and ovaries on a TV-like screen. This test shows if your eggs are ready to be fertilized by the sperm.


Insemination can be done using 3 different methods. Your healthcare provider will talk with you about the best way for you to have insemination.

  • You may have any of the following procedures:
    • Intrauterine insemination: A catheter (thin rubber tube) is placed into your vagina and uterus. Sperm is put into your uterus through the catheter.
    • Cervical insemination: Healthcare providers put sperm on the opening of your cervix using a catheter. Slippery mucus in your cervix may help the sperm travel into your uterus.
    • Intraperitoneal insemination: Healthcare providers insert a needle into your abdomen and put the sperm into one or both of your fallopian tubes.
  • After insemination, you may need to lie flat on your back for several minutes. Do not get up before healthcare providers say it is okay.


  • Medicine to help you ovulate may cause stomach pain, headaches, or nausea. You may have a higher risk of ovarian cysts. Ovulation medicine may cause a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). With mild OHSS, you may have abdominal pain and weight gain. Your ovaries may grow larger. With severe OHSS, fluid may collect in the tissues outside of your abdomen, which can cause trouble breathing.
  • You may be allergic to the catheter used for insemination. Your uterus or another organ may be damaged, causing severe abdominal pain. If a needle is used to inject sperm, it may cause bleeding, or you may get an infection. You may get pregnant with more than one baby. Even after insemination, you still may not get pregnant.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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