Artificial insemination (AI) is the deliberate introduction of sperm into a female's uterus or cervix for the purpose of achieving a pregnancy through in vivo fertilization by means other than sexual intercourse. It is a fertility treatment for humans, and is a common practice in animal breeding, including dairy cattle (see Frozenf bovine semen) and pigs.
Artificial insemination may employ assisted reproductive technology, sperm donation and animal husbandry techniques. Artificial insemination techniques available include intracervical insemination and intrauterine insemination. The primary beneficiaries of artificial insemination are heterosexual couples suffering from male infertility, lesbian couples and single women. Intracervical insemination (ICI) is the easiest and most common insemination technique and can be used in the home for self-insemination without medical practitioner assistance. Compared to natural insemination (i.e., insemination by sexual intercourse), artificial insemination can be more expensive and more invasive, and may require professional assistance.
There are laws in some countries which restrict and regulate who can donate sperms and who is able to receive artificial insemination, and the consequences of such insemination. Subject to any regulations restricting who can obtain donor sperms, donor sperms are available to all women who, for whatever reason, want or need them. Some women living in a jurisdiction which does not permit artificial insemination in the circumstance in which she finds herself may travel to another jurisdiction which permits it. (See Sperm donation laws by country and fertility tourism.)
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