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Invasive Artificial Insemination

Not quite as bad as the title implies
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It seems that one of the possible obstacles facing a woman who wants to become pregnant is her own immune system --it can attack normally-deposited sperm to the extent of preventing them from reaching an ovum. In the same place where I encountered that fact, I also encountered a suggestion to the effect that in- vitro fertilization was a possible solution. That particular process involves removing a ripe ovum (quite invasive), external fertilization of it, and the additional invasive-ness of attempting to get the result to implant into the uterus. The success rate is somewhat low, and the price of the procedure is rather high.

Well, I think I have a much simpler and less expensive solution.

Both solutions require a container of semen to be collected (cheap and easy). Normal artificial insemination would deposit the semen in the same place that normal natural insemination would deposit it. With respect to the problem described at the start of this text, artificial insemination would be no better than the natural type, simply because in either case the sperm has to run an immune-system-defended path to reach the ovum.

Logically, if a tube can be extended from the outside, into the Fallopian Tube to extract a ripe ovum, that tube could instead be used to deliver sperm to that location. Most of the defended path thus gets bypassed, the chance of fertilization then becomes about as good as if it was done in a Petri dish, and no second invasion need be done, to get the result to implant into the uterus --that normally happens naturally.

Vernon, Nov 24 2015


       I'm aware it may be necessary to extract sperm from semen for this Idea to work properly, as described (we don't want the semen to clog the Fallopian Tube to the extent that a fertilized ovum can't reach the uterus). So? Even with that extra step this should still be less expensive than the in- vitro method.
Vernon, Nov 24 2015

       Uh, [vernon], you do realize that when they collect eggs for IVF, they don't just stick a hose up the fallopian tube until they hear it hit an eggshell?   

       Human oocytes are collected by aspirating them directly from the follicles in the ovary. And you probably don't want to go putting sperm in there.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2015

       [MaxwellBuchanan], fertilization normally takes place inside a Fallopian Tube near the ovary (but not inside the ovary). I'm talking about naturally ripened ova, and I know that women can use temperature measurements to determine when ovulation happens. I admit to assuming that knowledge of that event is then used to begin an ovum-collection effort. What you describe seems more about gathering not-quite-ripe eggs? Which would then be ripened artificially?   

       Anyway, there are cilia inside the Fallopian Tube to transport a fertilized ovum to the uterus. ETA is three or four days, the same time it takes the zygote to divide several times and become ready to break out of the "eggshell" associated with the ovum ("zona pallucida"). The biological entity that emerges is called a "blastocyst", and it implants into the uterus. If the Fallopian Tube has damage or a blockage that prevents the fertilized egg from reaching the uterus, the blastocyst would emerge inside the tube and might implant into the tube, causing a dangerous "ectopic" pregnancy.   

       Regardless of whether a ripe ovum is fertilized, it is transported by the cilia toward the uterus. It could get fertilized about the same time it reaches the uterus, but three or four days are still needed before a blastocyst can emerge, and during that time the organism could literally fall out of the womb and be lost. I am NOT working against Nature in suggesting artificially delivering sperm up-close to the point of ovulation, simply because that is the normal fertilization location.   

       What I wrote in my previous anno was about the awareness of the fact that semen has physical properties that could let it cause a blockage for a fertilized egg, if semen was directly introduced into the Fallopian Tube. Separating sperm from semen would be a Good Thing.
Vernon, Nov 25 2015

       Maybe it would be better to grow kids the same way they did in Space Above and Beyond.
travbm, Nov 25 2015

       Well, there is a thing called intrauterine insemination, which is sort of going in that direction.   

       Incidentally, the commonest cause of infertility in older women is that the majority of oocytes are aneuploid (having missing or extra chromosomes), and produce embryos that are either completely unviable, or only make it through a few cell divisions. IVF helps, somewhat, because large numbers of oocytes can be collected and fertilized, and several embryos can be implanted in the hopes of getting one good one. There are many technologies which aim to identify the euploid oocytes, but it's still difficult (I know, because I have an ongoing collaboration with a German IVF research centre on this very topic).
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2015

       So, is it a turkey baster?
bhumphrys, Nov 26 2015

       //So, is it a turkey baster?//   

       Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Hope you have that visual in your head when chowing down on “stuffed” bird this evening!
ytk, Nov 26 2015


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