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FAQ for At Home Insemination

FAQ for At-Home Insemination

What is artificial insemination?
Artificial insemination is a procedure in which sperm is placed directly into the cervix or the uterus (in the case of intrauterine insemination in fertility clinics) to help facilitate fertilization. As the least complex of the assisted reproductive technology techniques, artificial insemination is often used as a first-line fertility treatment.

What is the difference between home insemination and artificial insemination at a fertility clinic?
Generally, artificial insemination performed at a fertility clinic will be intrauterine insemination, or IUI. In this procedure, the sperm is placed directly into the uterus. Before IUI can occur, the semen sample must be “washed,” since unwashed semen can cause painful uterine cramping. If you are considering artificial insemination at home, you can use either washed or unwashed sperm. When you do artificial insemination at home, you will place the sperm near your cervix rather than in the uterus.

What are some reasons to consider at home insemination?
There are many reasons people prefer to complete artificial insemination at home rather than a fertility clinic. At home artificial insemination can be much more relaxing and less stressful, since it is performed in the privacy of your own home. You can use either fresh, or raw sperm, as well as frozen sperm, if you are using a sperm from a sperm bank. Finally, many choose the home route because it is much cheaper than having the procedure performed at a fertility clinic.

Who is a candidate for at-home artificial insemination?
Artificial insemination can be a helpful fertility treatment for male-factor infertility. It can be beneficial for men with low sperm counts, or problems with sperm motility or morphology—all issues that can make it difficult for sperm to travel to the site of fertilization. Additionally, it may also be used for women with abnormal cervical mucus or abnormal vaginal pH. Finally, people using sperm donation may also be candidates for at home artificial insemination.

What is an at home insemination kit?
An at home insemination kit provides you with the tools you need to complete the artificial insemination process in your home. At home insemination kits vary regarding how they will deposit the sperm—some use needleless syringes, while others use a cervical cap. Depending on which kind you choose, you may need a doctor’s prescription.

How successful is at home artificial insemination?
Unfortunately, there are no national statistics measuring the success of at-home artificial insemination. However, one study in 2001 of over 5,000 cycles using donor sperm and the cervical cap method of artificial insemination found a success rate of 13 percent per cycle. For comparison, an average, healthy young couple has between a 20 to 37 percent chance of success within the first three months of trying to conceive. If you have been unsuccessful after 12 months of trying to conceive, you may want to consider making an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist. If you are over the age of 35, you may want to make an appointment with a fertility doctor after six months.


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