Insemination is the deliberate introduction of sperm into a female animal or plant for the purpose of impregnating or fertilizing the female for sexual reproduction. The sperm is introduced into the uterus of a mammal or the oviduct of an oviparous (egg-laying) animal.
In mammals, insemination normally occurs during sexual intercourse, but insemination can take place in other ways, such as artificial insemination. Each form of insemination has legal, moral and interpersonal implications. Whether insemination takes place naturally or by artificial means, however, the pregnancy and the progress of it will be the same.
Insemination may be called in vivo fertilisation (from in vivo meaning "within the living") because an egg is fertilized inside the body, and is thus essentially the opposite of in vitro fertilisation.
Insemination of a woman by sexual intercourse is technically referred to as "natural insemination" (NI) i.e. insemination by natural means. although this term is generally understood in the context of third-party reproduction where a male who is not the woman's usual sexual partner (a sperm donor) fathers a child for the woman by providing his sperm through sexual intercourse rather than by providing his sperm for it to be used to produce a pregnancy in the woman by artificial means.
The incidence of natural insemination by a sperm donor is usually a private matter, and may also carry greater health risks than where sperm has been processed by a fertility center. Advocates claim natural insemination generates higher pregnancy rates and a more 'natural' conception which does not involve the intervention and intrusion of third parties; however, it has not been medically proven that natural insemination has an increased chance of pregnancy.
Additionally, conceiving through natural insemination is considered a natural process, so the father is liable for child support and custody rights of the child. The law therefore usually draws a distinction between a man fathering a child by natural means, and a man who provides his sperm for it to be used to father a child by artificial means (e.g. artificial insemination).
In most cultures, insemination by a male through sexual intercourse, whether the woman's husband, normal sex partner or not, is subject to social and sexual inhibitions and taboos, and has legal, moral and interpersonal implications.
Artificial insemination is the introduction of sperm into the reproductive tract of a female by means other than sexual intercourse for the purpose of impregnating the female.
In humans, artificial insemination can be used when a woman cannot, for any of a number of reasons, conceive by natural means. The sperm may be provided by either by a sexual partner of her choice or by a sperm donor. Artificial insemination techniques available include intracervical insemination and intrauterine insemination. Artificial insemination using donor sperm is most commonly employed by lesbian couples, single women. and heterosexual couples when the male partner is suffering from male infertility. Compared with natural insemination, artificial insemination may be more invasive, and it may require professional assistance and medical expertise, which will have a higher cost.
In addition to situations where a woman's male partner suffers from male infertility, sperm from a woman's male partner can also be used to impregnate the woman artificially after the male partner has died or the partner is unable to physical impregnate his partner. There are laws in some countries which restrict and regulate who can donate sperm and who is able to receive artificial insemination, and the consequences of such insemination. Subject to any regulations restricting who can obtain donor sperm, donor sperm is available to all women who, for whatever reason, want or need it. 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 (a 'fertility destination') which permits it. (See Sperm donation laws by country.)
Artificial insemination has been and continues to be commonly used in livestock breeding as an efficient way of increasing breeding.
Other forms of insemination
In various other animal species, sperm can be introduced into the female's reproductive tract by various means. For example, in some species of hemiptera sperm can be introduced violently by traumatic insemination, parenteral injection through the body wall. In some species of animals, sperm finds its way through the body wall when the spermatophore is left in contact with the female's skin, such as in the onychophora.
How Insemination Process works
Insemination can increase the chances of pregnancy for those couples who are suffering from childlessness problems. The technique which is used is a thin, flexible tube (catheter) to put sperm into the woman's reproductive tract. These are IntraUterine Insemination (IUI), InVitro Fertilization (IVF) and IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). IUI is the least invasive as it does not involve take away eggs from the woman, only injecting sperm into the uterus.
When dealing with male factor infertility, unexplained infertility or need a donor sperm to get pregnant. When such issues arise then artificial infertility procedure works. When a woman planning to think of without a male partner can also use donor sperm. Or even when the male partner is sterilized or have extremely low sperm count or have any hereditary disease then at that time donor sperm is used.
The Sperm which is used for infertility is usually washed because placing unwashed sperm right into the uterus can cause severe pain and by selecting active and healthy sperm which are more capable of fertilizing an egg. IUI success rates by age can be determined by studying the success ratio of couples belonging to various age groups. Many studies were conducted where they try to bring in couples suffering from similar problems but different age groups.
Steps to a successful insemination process are:
Step 1: The physical test: Prior to beginning the artificial process, both male and female or donor will have complete body test, including a blood test.
After completing all the body test, if all the test is positive then doctor do sperm analysis of donor or male partner if the male has ejaculated problems. The doctor can bypass this by removing sperm from his bladder after he ejaculates. The doctor can then use this sperm during the artificial insemination procedure.
Ejaculated problems are common sexual problems in men. The three main Ejaculation problems are:
- Premature Ejaculation: - Premature ejaculation is the most common ejaculation problem. It's where the male ejaculates too fast during sexual intercourse.
- Delayed Ejaculation: - Possible psychological causes of delayed ejaculation are similar to those of premature ejaculation
- Retrograde Ejaculation: - Retrograde ejaculation is a rarer type of ejaculation problem. It happens when semen travels backward into the bladder instead of through the urethra (the tube that urine passes through).
Step 3: Preparing the sperm: If you are going through IUI the sperm sample will go through a special washing and processing procedure
Step 4: Insertion of the sperm: the artificial insemination procedure is fast and normally painless. When the process initiates, you will lie down as you normally would for a pelvic exam. A speculum will be placed in and the sperm sample will be ready for insertion. The sperm is located all the way into the uterine cavity with a thin catheter and syringe.