Encyclopedia of Reproductive Technologies

By Annette Burfoot | Go to book overview

twenty-seven
Artificial Insemination

RONA ACHILLES

In its most rudimentary form, artificial insemination is simply an alternative to sexual intercourse. Sperm acquired through masturbation is placed manually in the woman's cervical canal at the time of ovulation. When practiced in medical settings, artificial insemination involves two major categories. These are commonly defined by the relationship of the inseminated woman to the man who is the source of the sperm: artificial insemination by donor (AID), increasingly referred to as donor insemination (DI, to avoid confusion with the disease AIDS), and artificial insemination by husband (AIH). Technically, the latter acronym refers to artificial insemination homologous. When used outside of medical settings and without the assistance of physicians, DI is referred to as self- insemination or alternative insemination.


History

There are two histories of artificial insemination: the history of a medical practice and the history of alternative insemination by laypeople as a method of achieving pregnancy without sexual intercourse. Information about both is scarce as a result of the typical secrecy involved. Documented records of artificial insemination in humans go back well over 100 years in the United States and over 200 years in the United Kingdom. Artificial insemination with animals dates even earlier with stories, for example, about fourteenth-century Arabs who impregnated the mares of their enemies with the semen of inferior stallions. The biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani is accredited with using artificial insemination in dogs in

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