We know that many in our audience are considering or have used donor sperm to become parents. A little discussed topic, however, is how you are going to “use” the donated sperm: intrauterine insemination (IUI) in the doctor’s office or home insemination.
Our partner, Cryos International, is an expert on both, so we asked them to share what we need to know about home insemination.
Did you know that home insemination, also known as intracervical insemination (ICI), is one of the most accessible and least expensive paths to parenthood? Creating your family through this process may be an excellent solution for you and your partner. Intracervical insemination (ICI) is also a nice, safe option for single women who desire to be a single mother by choice.
Home Insemination – What Are the Benefits?
Home insemination (or ICI) is one of the most convenient fertility treatment options available, and many couples and singles have had quick success with this procedure. It can be done from the comfort of your own home, on your own time, and without any doctor visits. It also happens to be one of the lowest-cost treatments out there, which is a valuable plus for many who worry about the extra costs of second, third or even sixth times trying.
Choosing the home insemination path will give you the luxury of having more privacy, flexibility, and intimacy that are unavailable to you with most other fertility procedures. Since ICI can be done without any doctor visits, it keeps you from missing work and other crucial day-to-day life activities. The at-home process can provide you with a more intimate and enjoyable experience that is unable to be offered by other more medically-based fertility treatments.
Keep in mind your needs and desires when making this decision, but this path to parenthood may be the easiest way to build the family of your dreams.
Where Do I Start?
To complete successful home insemination, you first need to choose a sperm donor. Cryos International Sperm and Egg Bank recommends purchasing two straws of MOT10 ICI or IUI-ready sperm from your desired donor. ICI-ready sperm is unwashed, meaning that all the natural fluid and cells from the ejaculate are held together instead of being “washed” away or removed. This type of sperm is ideal for home insemination. IUI-ready sperm has been washed and is typically used in intrauterine insemination, but it can also be used for home insemination. It is recommended that you use ICI-ready sperm unless your favorite donor only has IUI-ready sperm available.
Why two ICI or IUI MOT10 straws you ask? Because it will provide you with a minimum of 10 million motile sperm and gives you the ability to wrap your insemination around your most fertile time, increasing your likelihood of becoming pregnant.
[sws_green_box box_size="515"] Curious About How to Find the ‘Right’ Sperm Donor? [/sws_green_box]
Know Your Ovulation Before Treatment
Ovulation is the most important thing to know about your body as you decide to do home insemination. It is vital that you track your ovulation for several months so that you can easily pinpoint when you will ovulate. This will increase your chances of success. There are various tracking tools you can use to figure out when you ovulate, such as menstrual cycle apps, ovulation tests, tracking your basal body temperature, and monitoring your cervical mucus. Using several methods will help you know your body better, and timing is the most important and hardest part of doing intracervical insemination (ICI).
[sws_green_box box_size="515"] Did you know that Ovulation Predictor Kits are NOT All Created Equally? [/sws_green_box]
Now that you know your ovulation, you are ready to ship. Choose the right shipping option so that your home insemination kit arrives before your ovulation day. This is important because you are most fertile on the two days leading up to your ovulation day and on the day of ovulation. So you will want to inseminate then. Once the donor sperm arrives, you can follow the instructions included in the insemination kit to complete the process.
How Do I Do Home Insemination?
After receiving your home insemination kit, you should test your ovulation and begin the procedure on your assumed most fertile day. If using Cryos, a step-by-step guide with pictures will be in your delivery kit, which will make everything much easier to follow. Or you could also check out this video on YouTube.
To sum up the process, you will thaw your donor sperm straw at room temperature, place the sperm into the needless syringe provided, place the sperm-filled syringe into your vagina and squeeze the bulb to complete the insemination. Below are a few common mistakes people make when doing ICI:
- Cutting and holding the sperm straw upside down
- Trying to refreeze sperm straws in the freezer for later use
- Using the syringe, the wrong way
- Waiting too long to use sperm straws and the nitrogen tank expires
- Thawing the sperm for too long, or too short of time
- Thawing the straw in a warm/hot water bath
- Inseminating too early or too late according to your ovulation
- Using the wrong MOT level of sperm
Look for more details and step-by-step explanations on how home insemination is done here. The client services team at Cryos is always willing to help you and answer any questions you may have about home insemination procedures. Contact them via website chat, phone, or email.
Now that you know the main benefits of home insemination, where to start and how it’s done, are you ready to start your journey to parenthood? We would love to hear if you have any questions about using home insemination on your path to parenthood. Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks, Cryos International, for the great overview and easy-to-follow information on home insemination!
Image Credit: Tiomax80