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Artificial insemination

Many couples encounter difficulties getting pregnantdue to fertility problems. However, few people are completely infertile, and most couples who need help to make a baby are described as subfertile. This means that one part of their reproductive system may not be working correctly.

Artificial insemination (AI) is a means of helping couples to have children if they are unable to conceive through sexual intercourse. Artificial insemination refers to a range of techniques in which the man’s sperm is put into the woman’s genital tract artificially. Sperm may be placed in the neck of the womb (cervix), known as intracervical insemination, or inside the womb itself, known as intrauterine insemination (IUI).

Less common techniques of artificial insemination are intraFallopian insemination and intraperitoneal insemination. These methods place the sperm near the mouth of the Fallopian tubes and ovaries. Rarely, a technique called intravaginal insemination is used, in which sperm are placed in the female partner’s vagina.

If there is a problem with the male partner sperm, then sperm from an anonymous donor may be used. Donor insemination (DI) may also useful for single women and lesbian couples.