Artificial insemination (AI) is the impregnation of a woman by one of several possible artificial reproductive technologies, commonly known as ARTs. It is typically recommended for the treatment of infertility due to:
- mild to moderate male factor infertility
- "unexplained" infertility
- cervical mucus insufficiency
- hostile cervical mucus
- various structural abnormalities in the woman
AI is a relatively simple procedure that involves injecting a sample of specially treated sperm from the male partner into the female partner's reproductive tract. For most couples, AI is performed with the husband's sperm. However, when the husband's ejaculate contains few or no live sperm, the couple may consider undergoing more advanced procedures including IVF, ICSI, or donor sperm insemination.
There are actually several different types of AI, and they are named for the location of sperm insemination into the female. The types of AI are intracervical (in the cervical canal), intrauterine (in the uterine cavity), intrafollicular (in the ovarian follicle) or intratubal (in the fallopian tubes).