Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination is the introduction of semen (the fluid containing sperm) into a woman's vagina or uterus by means other than sexual intercourse (usually with a special syringe) at or before the time of ovulation in the hope of achieving fertilization. The semen may be from the woman's partner or from a donor.

Artificial insemination using semen from the partner is sometimes done when he has a low sperm count -- that is, when there are not enough sperm per unit of fluid to be likely to fertilize an egg. To obtain enough sperm, several collections may be made over a period of days or weeks; the sperm obtained is frozen, pooled, and used in one insertion. Artificial insemination may also be used when one or the other partner cannot perform the act of sexual intercourse, perhaps because of a physical condition or an emotional problem.

Artificial insemination using semen from a donor can be an alternative to adoption when the man cannot father a child, whether because of low sperm count, absence of sperm, poor quality of sperm, lack of motion by sperm, or inability to perform sexual intercourse. It may also be considered when the man carries a genetic defect that he does not want to transmit to the child.

Now we've covered the major aspects of female and male infertility. There are many factors to consider when facing this dilemma, and it helps to be informed about all of your options.

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