More and more couples and single women are making the decision to artificially inseminate themselves at home with donor sperm. If this is your case, or you’re simply curious and want to know a bit more about this topic, read on to discover why people choose this method of conception as well as how to perform the procedure at home.
When you can’t have a baby naturally
Sometimes starting your own family can be complicated. You might have been trying to conceive for months, or even years, before finally realizing that you need a little help. Although it may feel like it, rest assured, you’re certainly not alone in this situation.
In Western societies male infertility is on the rise. In fact, sperm count has fallen dramatically over the past few decades (by more than 50% in 40 years!). As a result, more and more couples who are faced with infertility are seeking solutions such as donor insemination or adoption.
These alternatives are also available to lesbian couples and single women who want to have a baby. Incidentally, the UK is one of the most progressive countries in Europe regarding access to parenthood for LGBT couples and single women.
Why do people perform artificial insemination at home?
If you decide to become a parent via sperm donation, whether you’re a same-sex couple, a single woman or a heterosexual couple struggling to conceive, you will have several options available to you. You can purchase sperm from a sperm bank or select a private known donor from a social platform online. Depending on your age, fertility and preferences, you may undergo in vitro fertilisation, intrauterine insemination or intracervical insemination.
However, the high costs of some of these fertility procedures can discourage many aspiring parents, especially those who are not eligible to have the treatment covered by the NHS. Others may also dislike or feel uncomfortable with the cold atmosphere of the clinics. After all, conceiving is supposed to be something intimate and a tender, memorable moment, right?
For these reasons, many couples and singles decide to go solo and perform the insemination procedure in the comfort of their own home, with the aid of a needleless syringe and a little bravery. So, how do you artificially inseminate yourself?
How to DIY your insemination at home
- Find your donor
The first item on the conception to-do list is to find a sperm donor. You can select the person of your choice at a sperm bank. You can also choose a known donor, for example, a friend, or you can look online, whether this be on social media or a dedicated platform that connects sperm donors with couples or singles.
Before going any further, make sure that the donor is healthy, free of any STDs or genetic conditions and that their sperm is of good quality. You should also take the time to understand all of the rules and regulations surrounding sperm donation and (depending on your preferences) sign an agreement with your donor before insemination.
- Get the right supplies
It’s time to do a little shopping. Head to the pharmacy and pick up an ovulation predictor kit and a basal thermometer to help you identify your fertile window. It’s essential to accurately schedule the insemination procedure, thereby maximising your chances of getting pregnant.
It’s also worth purchasing a collection cup for your donor. To perform the insemination, you will need a 5ml needleless syringe. Moreover, you’ll find that it’s useful to have some towels, baby wipes and tissues close at hand. To make things a little more intimate and create a comforting ambiance, you can also grab a few candles along with some nice, relaxing music.
- Performing the insemination
It’s best that your donor comes to your home to make the donation. Ideal locations for the procedure include your guest room or bathroom. However, if he prefers to do it at his own place, it’s important to make sure that the sperm he provides is kept at body temperature during transportation to your own home and that the insemination process takes place within the hour to guarantee the sample’s freshness!
Once you’ve obtained the donation, the first step is to load the sperm carefully into the syringe. Lay down on your bed or sofa and place a pillow under your hips to keep them in an upright position. Place the syringe into your vagina, as far towards the back as possible to ensure proximity to the cervix. Now, slowly depress the syringe’s plunger. Leave it in this position for a minute or so before carefully withdrawing the syringe.
- Be patient
Remain in the hips-raised position for 15-30 minutes. Keep in mind that this process might not work right away and that you might have to perform a number of inseminations before actually becoming pregnant. However, when you’re finally cradling your baby in your arms for the first time, you’ll feel like it was worth the wait!