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A less invasive fertility procedure could be used to treat some infertile women


A woman with an obstructed cervix has been successfully treated for infertility using a technique known as intraperitoneal insemination (IPI). The technique, described in a case report just published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, is less invasive and cheaper than alternative infertility treatments, which involve the harvesting of a woman’s eggs.

Scott Sills from the Atlanta Medical Center and Gianpiero Palermo from the Cornell Institute for Reproductive Medicine describe how they were able to successfully assist the 37 year old women to get pregnant. Their decision to publish this research in an online open access journal allows this important study to be read by the widest possible audience.

In couples with healthy semen, standard fertility treatments such as intrauterine insemination are usually the most appropriate. However, these treatments cannot be used if a narrow or obstructed cervix blocks the path to the uterus. Such women are usually offered either corrective surgery to remove the blockage or invasive fertility treatments like gamete or zygote intrafallopian transfer. Sills and Palermo suggest that women who have no blockages in their fallopian tubes could receive intraperitoneal insemination.

Intraperitoneal insemination bypasses the cervix by injecting sperm through the vagina, directly into the pelvic cavity where eggs are released. In this case study, the patient was first treated with follicle stimulating hormone to induce ovulation after which a specially prepared sperm sample was injected into the pelvic cavity. Following the procedure progesterone was given to the patient for eight weeks. The procedure was a success and it is hoped that it will be a useful alternative to more complex fertility treatments in patients where a cervical factor contributes to their infertility.

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The authors of this research can by contacted by email
Scott Sills -
Gianpiero Palermo -

Gordon Fletcher | BioMed Central
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