Artificial Insemination at Home - Process & Success Rate

Artificial Insemination at Home – Scheduling, Process and Success Rate

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
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NOTE: Performing artificial insemination at home is ILLEGAL in India. Any such attempts will invite legal implications, and also the baby born out of this process will be considered illegitimate. This blog is only for general information about how it is done abroad. Even abroad, this is done under legal advice only.

There can be many reasons behind opting for artificial insemination. These include difficulty getting pregnant, the desire to be a single mother, and so on. Most people undergo artificial insemination procedures under the guidance of their gynaecologist, who generally has a good amount of experience regarding the subject. However, if someone does not like the idea of doing this at a fertility clinic, there is the option of doing it at home as well. The most common method is known as the Turkey Baster method, as it involves the use of a handheld suction device used in preparing turkey meat. Based on this principle, there are various ways in which they can get it done. Many questions are often asked regarding this procedure. Will it be safe? Is it complicated? How successful are the chances of conceiving using home artificial insemination methods? All of these questions and more will be explained in the article below in detail.

What Is Home Insemination?

The Turkey Baster was originally used as a home artificial insemination device, used by the woman herself in the privacy of her home. Once the required semen sample is collected in a cup or a bowl, it can be sucked up using the turkey baster. The next step involves inserting the baster into the vagina and squeezing the semen out. However, these days basters are not used; in fact, specialised syringes and home insemination kits are sold which can help one do the job.

What Is Home Insemination?

Creating a Plan With the Doctor Before Insemination

While this method can be performed at home, it can also be planned with the doctor beforehand. Here are a few points as to how the doctor offers support:

  • If the partner’s semen isn’t used, it will be obtained from a trustworthy source as suggested by their doctor.
  • While the concept is simple, there are various factors regarding the conception of a viable foetus. The doctor can help figure out anything that is needed regarding ovulation, insemination procedure, and so on.
  • A needleless syringe can also be requested to the doctor preferably with a plunger which is longer than four inches.

Scheduling Insemination At-Home

Once the plan has been created, it is time to schedule at-home insemination. This requires the understanding of the ovulation cycle.

  • It helps the woman keep an eye on her own cycle to know when she might be producing ova.
  • She can also use an artificial insemination at home kit specifically designed to identify when she is ovulating by checking the levels of luteinising hormone in her urine.
  • Generally, ovulation occurs around ten to fifteen days after the first day of the period.
  • Another sign she can watch out for is the presence of a sticky translucent discharge from her vagina.
  • Several women also go through some cramping during ovulation.
  • The woman can measure her basal body temperature, as during ovulation the temperature goes through a slight increase. For this, she will have to procure a specific basal thermometer and take the measurements right after waking up before she steps out of bed.
  • Even if she is ovulating when she has artificially inseminated herself, this does not mean she will get pregnant, as several unrelated reasons can hinder the pregnancy.

How Artificial Insemination Is Performed at Home

Here are some basic points regarding what is needed and how the artificial insemination process is performed at home:

1. What Is Needed

  • Sterilised needless syringe
  • Clean cup or bowl to keep the semen
  • Towels and pillows for cleanliness and comfort
  • Anything the woman might need to help her relax, such as soothing music

2. How It Is Performed

  • The semen has to be collected in a clean and sterilised cup or bowl. It is important that a condom is not used for this purpose as it can contain certain chemicals that are spermicidal.
  • The syringe plunger has to be pulled out, then the air pushed out of it. Now that a vacuum has been produced, the tip of the syringe is dipped in the bowl with the semen in it.
  • The semen is sucked as much as possible through the syringe. If required, some medical saline is added in the bowl to extract any remaining semen.
  • Any air bubbles formed in the syringe are removed by gently tapping on the side. The air is slowly pushed out by pressing the plunger gently.
  • Now, the woman places herself in a comfortable position, as she will not be moving much for the next thirty minutes.
  • A thick pillow will be kept below her waist so her hips are at a higher position than her upper body.
  • The syringe is gently inserted into her vagina, and she starts injecting the semen as slowly as she possibly can. This is because the semen can escape the vagina if she sprays it too fast.
  • Once all the syringe is entirely emptied, she can carry on with her daily activities.

Tips for Insemination

These tips are kept in mind when the woman plans to go through artificial insemination at home:

  • She has to make sure that she only uses sterilised items as this procedure can leave her open to the risk of infections.
  • She has to make sure the injection reaches all the way to the entrance of the cervix, making it much easier for the sperms to swim towards the egg in the uterus.
  • It is recommended the woman has an orgasm after the semen is injected. This is because, during orgasms, the cervical muscles contract and vacuum up any semen inside the uterus.
  • She has to only use the equipment one time, and then throw it away. This avoids any contamination.
  • She needs to wash her hands before and after the procedure.
  • She has to stay in the same position for at least half an hour for the sperm to reach the egg.

How Does the Insemination Process Work?

This process works the same way as natural insemination. In this case, however, instead of a penis ejaculating semen into the vagina, a syringe is used to do the same thing. Once the sperms are in the cervix, they will enter the uterus, where one of them fuses with the egg, forming a zygote. The zygote then develops into a foetus over time.

How Much Time Is Required for Artificial Insemination at Home?

This method can be attempted as many times as the woman wants until she gets results. As long as she ensures that she performs the procedure during her ovulation, it should work sooner or later. If it doesn’t seem to be working after repeated attempts, she should contact her doctor.

Risk of Home Insemination

Some risks associated with artificial insemination at home:

  • Not placing the sperm deep enough so that it reaches the cervix.
  • Using unsanitary items or not cleaning the hands during the process.
  • Not trying enough times, as it may not work the first time.

What Is the Home Artificial Insemination Success Rate?

How effective is artificial insemination at home? The efficacy rate is slightly lower than what would happen with natural intercourse. For instance, anecdotal evidence shows that the chances of getting pregnant with artificial insemination at home are around ten to fifteen percent per ovulation, whereas with natural intercourse the chances are much higher, between twenty to thirty per cent.

The sperm can be from the woman’s partner or an unknown donor. Sperm banks are the best option for the latter, as they keep specific and clear records about the genetics of the donor, the quality of the sperm, and so on. The woman should ensure she uses a legal agreement when taking sperm from someone she knows, in case only she wants to have rights to the baby.

Also Read: What Is Assisted Reproductive Technology?

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