Home insemination is an option for lesbian couples, single women, and even straight couples who need to use donor sperm. If there are no fertility issues, home insemination is a cheaper, less invasive option than a clinic, and can be more intimate. Here are our tips on how to do it yourself!
The Advantages of Home Insemination
There are so many advantages to doing your home insemination yourself. You can avoid the huge medical bills that IVF Clinics and other types of fertility clinics will charge you for the service. You have full control and privacy over the insemination process. Plus being in the privacy of your own home or safe space, with your partner means that it is a less stressful process. But it does come with a few cons.
The Disadvantages of Home Insemination
With any medical process that is undertaken at home, there are always risks. Ensure that any devices that you use during the insemination process are sterile and clean or you could risk infection.
If you are sourcing a donor from a friend or other means, the sample won’t go through the rigorous medical checking that a fertility clinic may use to process the sperm before use.
Find Your Man Sample
Unless you have a man who is ready to be your donor, you’ll have to go searching. Some people find donors online or through social groups. Meet with the potential donor, and be clear about your expectations. Ask about his expectations; you need to agree on the terms of the donation. It’s essential that the donor gets tested for sexually transmitted diseases and you may also want him to undertake genetic testing.
Or Find a Donor Sperm
Otherwise, you can find an appropriate sperm donor for home insemination. There are two ways to go about acquiring donor sperm. The first way is through either a fertility clinic, where the sperm will be screened thoroughly for diseases such as cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and many more. And yes, there is even a ‘catalogue’ of the donors with descriptions of their physical attributes and family history – no photographs though! Once the sperm is harvested, it is tested, frozen for a period of six months, then tested again. There are limited donors in Australia, so much of the donated sperm is from overseas, particularly in the United States.
The other way to acquire sperm is to sign up to one of the few ‘Sperm donor’ websites or Facebook Groups. But this can be dodgy (random men giving away their sperm… yeah you are going to get a few crazies!).
Reputable groups and sites do exist though such as:
- Sperm Donation Australia is a Facebook Page that is recommended by quite a few women seeking a donor.
- Sperm Donors Australia has information on the donation of sperm and how to access donor sperm.
- Fairfax Cryobank
In Australia, it is illegal to be paid for a sperm donation.
There are also a couple of sperm banks that are usually associated with fertility clinics.
Grab a Sperm Collection Kit
You want to ensure that your Sperm Donor collects his sample in a sanitary (and easy) way. There are a limited number of sperm collection kits available to the public – but I have found a couple that looks good!
- Moxie Baby has all your home insemination needs including a sperm collection kit, ovulation tests and syringes.
The Legalities of Sperm Donation in Australia
It is always a good idea to get professional legal advice before going through with donor sperm. In Australia, a donor-conceived individual is entitled to know who their genetic parents are once they have reached the age of 18.
Check out the latest legalities at Sperm Donation Australia.
The Legalities of Sperm Donation in the United States
In the United States, there are no legalities on who can engage in sperm donation however there are recommedations on how many pregnancies a sperm donor can make. Many Sperm Banks have a limit of six pregnancies to six different women.
However, some couples choose not to report the donation of sperm so it is very under-reported.
Sign On The Dotted Line
You, your partner, and your donor (if you aren’t going through a fertility clinic) need to sign a donor agreement. The agreement should explicitly detail the terms of the donation, as well as the relationship and contact if any, the donor will have with the child. It is recommended you consult a lawyer familiar with donor agreements, however, there are donor agreement templates online. It’s important to remember that donor agreement are not enforceable by law.
Gather The Supplies for Home Insemination
Ovulation strips and a basal thermometer will help you track your fertility. Your donor will need a specimen sample cup, and for the insemination, you’ll need a 5mL syringe (FYI: ‘turkey basters’ are too big). If you or your donor think you’ll need lubricant, make sure it is a sperm-friendly one. You’ll find all of these items at the pharmacy. You’ll also want to supply some tissues for your donor.
Your Place Or Mine?
For home insemination, ideally, your donor would come to you, use a spare room and make his donation. If your donor prefers to be at home, you can pick the semen up and drive it home, but it must be stored at body temperature and should be inseminated within an hour of ‘production’. If your home insemination donor lives more than 45 minutes away, a motel close to your donor’s house might be necessary.
You need to be clear about the donation and insemination procedure. If you find your sperm donor privately, you will likely encounter one who wants sexual intercourse. They are not the majority, but they are out there. Be sure to include the agreed procedures in the donor agreement to avoid any confusion.
Get In The Mood for Baby Making
Home insemination means you can be more intimate, and you should be! Arousal fluid isn’t just a sexual lubricant, it also protects the sperm and helps sperm to get through the vagina. Make sure you have everything you need, and then get hot and heavy (with your partner if you have one) while your donor is off doing his thing.
The Main Event
Have your sperm donor ejaculate into a sterile medical cup or a condom. Use a syringe to very gently suction the sample into the syringe chamber.
Insert the syringe into the vagina and aim it down towards the back, to get the sperm close to the cervix. Slowly push the plunger to empty the syringe, and then leave it in position for 10-15 seconds before withdrawing it slowly.
Now it’s up to those tiny ‘swimmers’. To help them along you can do one more thing”
The Big Finale of Home Insemination
Orgasms are thought to help by ‘sucking’ the sperm up and reducing the distance they have to swim. It’s not an essential part of the baby-making process, but it is a fun way to finish things off! Just be careful – lesbian partners could get pregnant at the same time during their after-insemination antics!
And now you wait. Some say you should tilt your hips up on a pillow for half an hour, and others insert a menstrual cup to keep the semen inside the vagina for as long as possible. Inseminating two or three times per cycle can also increase your chances of pregnancy.
What Are Your Chances of Success Through Home Insemination
The chances of success using home insemination are similar to those achieved through natural intercourse and that sits around 12 – 15% per menstrual cycle.
If you’ve used a private sperm donor, what are your top tips for successful home insemination?
Alisia Cameron is a SAHM and lesbian parent to two girls, and married her fiance of 8 years in 2014. She is a trainee yoga teacher, studying early childhood teaching at university, completing an Honours research project examining family diversity in early childhood education settings, and is planning a wedding. In her spare time she can be found staring into space while wondering if she actually does have spare time, or if she’s just forgotten everything she needs to be doing.