Artificial insemination is one of many fertility options available to women who are either having trouble conceiving naturally with their partner or who want to have a child without a male partner. For many couples, artificial insemination is one of the first treatment methods used when they realize that they cannot become pregnant naturally. Artificial insemination is a safe and when coupled with fertility drugs, a reasonably effective method of conception. Compared to other fertilization techniques, it is also fairly cost-effective; depending on which method and sperm source you choose, artificial insemination usually costs between $100 and $6000 per cycle. However, as with any fertility treatment, there are several decisions you will have to make, each with pros and cons.
List of Pros of Artificial Insemination
1. It makes breeding easy and is cost-effective.
The modern technology that is used in this procedure could make it easier and a lot simpler for us to perform careful breeding, as it allows the transfer of semen from a donor to faraway places with ease. It is also cost-effective in a way that sperm cells are preserved, enabling the ability to save money and resources in order to create a huge repository for them.
2. It allows for genetic preservation.
Remember that the lack of genetic diversity can lead to certain species becoming extinct if they are not preserved. One good way to avoid this problem is keeping a lot of preserved sperm from various animals to be able to keep a huge collection of genetic details.
3. It presents the capability to freeze sperm.
The ability of male animals’ semen to stay alive longer will enable us to preserve their sperm by freezing with the use of nitrogen for a longer period of time. That is why we no longer have to worry if it would take a certain period of time to wait for someone who would need it.
4. It makes remote mating possible.
Artificial insemination allows the transfer of semen over a distance and enables organisms living far away to be mated without even being transported. This means that this method can save time and money, as there will be no need travel and carry a lot of things.
List of Cons of Artificial Insemination
1. It disturbs species and disrupts their natural habits.
The act of extracting sperm from male animals normally requires an individual to hold these animals, which means that they will be disturbed. This will create a negative impact, especially when subject animals are living in their natural habitats. Also, conserving sperm by freezing can be used as an exemption to destroy the animals’ natural way of impregnation.
2. It is not effective in other species.
While many animals have successfully adapted to artificial insemination, not all of them will have positive reactions to this method. It is not that often effective even in humans.
3. It requires the use of anesthetics.
To be able to calm animals down when subjected to this procedure, there will be a need to use anesthesia on them, which would affect their ability to react to particular conditions, such as semen extraction.
As a whole, artificial insemination offers positive results to others, but it could also fail to provide the desired results to others. That is why it is very important to weigh down its pros and cons before deciding to undergo this procedure.
A Story of Infertility
For me, as a young child, I had always dreamed of being married and having children. Once I did marry, we waited to start a family. Our goal was to further our careers and to save up enough money to put a hefty down payment on a house—essentially what is now called within the fertility world “delayed parenting.” Yet, there were days I’d have this intense longing and the inevitable question, “What’s my purpose in life?” It was during a Mother’s Day church service when the pastor spoke on “barrenness.” He spoke about many types of barrenness: those who have a dream yet to be fulfilled, a wayward son or daughter, or for those who desired to become mothers. The sermon stirred in me again that childhood dream to have children. I left the church that day feeling a sense of peace and purpose in my life, to become a mother, finally.
As the months and years passed—no pregnancy. I went through the range of emotions one goes through in trying to get pregnant. I felt angry at God, jealous of others who were expecting, disappointed every month, and essentially left with a broken heart. As I went through this season, I would journal. I would write out my feelings and my frustrations and prayed to God for His help. As I reflected on what I had written I clearly saw God and His faithfulness and help every step of the way. I see it as He turns my disappointments into appointments with Him.
Since I had such a profound impression of God’s purpose in the Mother’s Day service, I just assumed I would get pregnant easily, so therefore I did not obtain diagnostic testing for my infertility—which in hindsight was probably not the best idea. A woman’s egg reserve decreases with each passing year. I did not see the first fertility specialist until the age of forty; for most medical professionals, that would appear to be too late in life. However, I had diagnostic tests. The results proved I had severe endometriosis, fibroids (similar to tumors in my womb), and a hormone deficiency. I had surgeries to correct these problems and medicines to balance the hormones. But still, no baby after the corrective surgeries and thousands of dollars spent.
I sought another fertility specialist, and this time around went through two IUI’s (artificial insemination). With the last treatment, we were given the news, “With your age and egg maturity, there is no hope for you to conceive.” I felt as if those words left me lifeless. I felt as if something died within my heart. The only thing I could think of to do after receiving this terrible report was to turn to God, which as cliché as it sounds was true. I prayed asking God to mend my broken heart that was shattered into a million pieces. Truly, he supernaturally brought healing to my confused mind and broken emotions. Again, my disappointment was met with an appointment with Him. I know this may sound very odd for some, but truly this is my testimony how God can heal one suffering from the grief of infertility.
As I had such an intense desire to have children, my husband was the opposite. So there arose conflict. But we came to a resolution. The details of this are the acknowledgment of the book. We still pray and ask God for children and keep our hearts open as to how He would like to expand our family, but in the meantime we are content and at peace within our hearts and marriage, holding to the scripture that God has a great future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11).