How to Get Yourself Pregnant with Home Insemination
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!
Find Your Man
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 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 Donor Sperm
Otherwise you can find an appropriate sperm donor. 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 is limited donors in Australia, so much of the donated sperm is from overseas, particularly 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 donation of sperm and how to access donor sperm.
- Fairfax Cryobank
In Australia it is illegal to be paid for a sperm donation.
Sign On The 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 agreements are not enforceable by law.
Gather The Supplies
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?
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 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
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
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
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.
If you’ve used a private sperm donor, what are your top tips for a 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.