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Artificial Insemination History

First scientific research in artificial insemination history was done on domestic dogs in 1780's. Success of this experiment brought a new ray of hope in the world of infertility in animals as well as human. Let's get back to the history and find out some remarkable events.
With the advancement of technology and great research work, humans have created landmarks in all the sectors of life. Artificial insemination is a great example of it. It is the process of artificially planting a sperm in the female reproductive tract so that she can conceive. This method was previous done in the animals and after its great success it was started with the humans too. In animals, it is usually done to improve the breed or to save a breed from extinction whereas in humans, it can be used in case of male infertility, single women, problems in conceiving, etc. The sperm can be of the woman's male partner or it can be taken from a sperm donor.

There are two type of AI: Intracervical insemination, in which the sperm is placed in the cervix and intrauterine insemination, in which the sperm is washed and then injected inside the uterus. Today artificial insemination has become a very effective way of getting pregnant. So isn't it necessary to know what all events took place in the past which made this process a success? Well I think it is.

Milestones in Artificial Insemination History

Though the success and the commercial use of artificial insemination took place in the 19th century, the first event which took place in AI was in the 17th century. There are some unofficial claims that crude attempts were made to artificially inseminate the wife of King Henry IV of Castile in the 14th century in order to get her pregnant. Let's find out some of the remarkable events of AI process.
  • In the 1780, Spallanzani in Italy found that the dog can be impregnated artificially with the help of cellular portion of semen. He also observed that the spermatozoa could be stored in an inactivated form by cooling and when they are needed they can be reactivated later.
  • In 1933, Professor Ivanov who was hired by the Russian throne, developed various methods to collect semen from horses, cattle, sheep and swine and then inseminate them. Hence artificial insemination in cattle was started by this era.
  • Sorenson was the first to establish AI cooperative in the year 1933 in Denmark. Then E.J. Perry with the help of Larson, established the first AI cooperative in the United States in 1937 and by the year 1939 this number was raised to seven.
  • Bureau of Animal Industry, in 1940 registered the Santa Gertrudis cow which was a new breed resulted from Artificial Insemination.
  • In 1940s, Nazi doctors started performing insemination experiments on concentration camp internees, gypsies and Jews.
  • In 1949, new and improved method was developed to freeze and store sperm and then thaw it safely.
  • In 1950, scientist of Cornell university discovered that antibiotic can also be added in the sperm solution in AI.
  • First successful pregnancy with the help of human artificial insemination was made in 1953. It was done with the help of a frozen sperm. It was the most remarkable event in the history of biology.
  • With the successful usage of the frozen sperm, the rate of sperm donors increased and in 1970s' AI became commercialized and sperm bank industry was developed.
  • According to University of Florida IFAS, in 1970, farmers bred more than 7 million dairy cows.
  • In the year 1987 US doctors performed AI in about 1,72,000 women out of which there were 65,000 births which was quite an appreciable result.
  • From the time this method came into picture, there were many legal issues. Many catholic church and Islamic countries raised objections against this process. But with time, these issues have been faded out.
These were some of the remarkable events in the history of artificial insemination. Artificial insemination in animals has helped a lot in getting superior quality of dairy and meat products. We hope this article was informative and gave you an insight about the history of artificial insemination.
By Niharika Arya
Published: 6/28/2011
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