artificial insemination

artificial insemination

Introduction of semen into a female's vagina or cervix by means other than sexual intercourse. First developed for animal breeding in the early 20th century in Russia, it is now also used to induce pregnancy in women whose partners cannot impregnate them. The partner's (or other donor's) semen is inserted with a syringe. Though reasonably successful, artificial insemination in humans raises moral issues that are not yet fully resolved. In livestock, deep-frozen semen from a male animal can be stored for long periods without losing its fertility, thus allowing a single bull to sire as many as 10,000 calves a year.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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