Disclaimer: This page is not intended as a substitute for advice from a medical professional. Before following any instructions on this page, you should discuss this procedure and any potential risks with a certified medical professional.
What is Home Insemination?
Home Insemination is a method of achieving pregnancy without intercourse. It involves using a needleless syringe or cervical cap to place the semen directly on the cervix. It is a popular alternative to other artificial insemination methods as it avoids large medical bills and allows you to be in the comfort and safety of your own home.
It is important to note that before deciding on any insemination method--especially DIY insemination--you should consult a fertility expert or other medical professional to ensure that it is right for you.
Who Should Consider Home Insemination?
This insemination process works for anybody trying to conceive but is particularly convenient for people who may not be able to achieve pregnancy through intercourse. It is popular among single women and lesbian couples who want to become pregnant using donor sperm. It is also popular among the growing community of co-parents who wish to raise a child in a platonic arrangement.
Benefits and Risks of Home Insemination
Knowing how to inseminate at home using fresh sperm can save you a lot of money, but it is not a perfect process and so it is important that you know the benefits and risks before you begin. However, home insemination can provide you a cheap and reliable option that has similar success rates to intercourse. Here are the benefits:
Avoid Big Medical Bills
Because home insemination is done without medical help, it avoids the massive costs of healthcare. Although you lose the medical advice that you might otherwise have, this process is extremely simple and so does not require much, if any, assistance.
Freedom and Comfort
Artificial insemination at home means that you get to move at your own pace. Unlike tedious scheduling with a fertility clinic, you get to begin whenever and wherever you please. This can make the process far less stressful.
It’s not unusual to be a bit nervous about such an unfamiliar process. Being in your own home and away from strangers can ease some of the stress. Also, a best practice for at-home insemination is to orgasm after the semen has been inserted. This can be very difficult in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable place.
As with any medical process, home insemination is not completely without risks, although it is far safer than most other procedures. Here are the risks:
This is only something to worry about if you are reusing devices. Make sure to clean all of your tools before and after use, as this will likely take a few tries. For this reason, it may be best to order a few artificial insemination at-home kits to minimize the risk of infection.
Safety of Sperm Donation
Not all sperm banks conduct the same medical checks so it is important to know that the sperm you are using is safe and has been checked. If not, it may put you or your baby at risk. Utilizing a reliable sperm donor search service can help you ensure that the sperm donation is safe.
How to Perform At-Home Insemination
Performing Home Insemination is a very easy process using simple OTC supplies. It can be done in one of two ways:
Intracervical Insemination (ICI)
ICI, also known as “The Turkey Baster Method” is the most commonly used method of home insemination. It involves using a needleless syringe to inject sperm near the cervix.
- Needleless syringe or oral medical syringe
- Condom or collection cup
These tools are available over the counter in any major pharmacy, or you could also get them through your doctor. Make sure that you buy a syringe with a plunger rather than a bulb end.
Intracervical Insemination (ICI) Steps:
Step 1: Have the male ejaculate into the condom or collection cup
Step 2: Insert the syringe into the collection device and pull back slowly on the plunger
Step 3: Get into a position on your back and with your hips raised (use a pillow under your hips if needed). Make sure that this is a position that you can stay in for at least 30 minutes.
Step 4: Gently insert the syringe into the vagina until it is close to the cervix. Avoid actually touching the cervix as this can be painful.
Step 5: Slowly push down on the plunger to eject the sperm.
Step 6: To increase the success rate, try to have an orgasm. This can help the cervix pull up sperm.
Step 7: Thoroughly clean all of your supplies.
This method is similar to the Turkey Baster Method, but involves leaving a cervical cap in the vagina for several hours. The cervical cap method is nice in that you may move around once it is inserted. However, you will need to be fitted for one which may add unnecessary costs.
- Cervical cap or instead cup
Cervical Cap Steps
Step 1: Have the male ejaculate into the cervical cap or instead cup
Step 2: Fold the cap to hold in the semen
Step 3: Find a comfortable position and insert the cervical cap close to the cervix
Step 4: Attempt to have an orgasm. The best way to do this, particularly with the cervical cap method, is with a vibrator.
Step 5: Leave the cap in for 2-4 hours
How to Make Home Insemination Successful
Similar to intercourse, home insemination kit success rates hover around 10-15% per menstrual cycle. This is assuming that you do the home insemination during peak periods in your cycle. The artificial insemination at home success rate relies on you doing it during your fertile window.
There are a number of tools to help you do this. Ovulation tests are one of the best ways to identify peak fertile periods. A good ovulation predictor allows you to perform home insemination only during the fertile window.
As I mentioned above, having an orgasm shortly after inserting the semen can help increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy. Though the science behind this is unclear, it definitely won’t hurt to try.
Home Insemination with a Sperm Donor
If you are thinking about doing at-home insemination, it is pretty likely that you are planning on using a sperm donor. Luckily, home insemination with fresh sperm is virtually the same whether or not you are using a donor. Simply draw the sperm out of the tube directly with the syringe.
If you are using frozen sperm, the process is also very similar once the sperm has been thawed. Make sure to contact the sperm bank to ensure that you know how to correctly thaw the sperm.