At-Home Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination (AI) is the process by which sperm is placed into the reproductive tract of a female for the purpose of impregnating the female by using means other than sexual intercourse. In humans, it is used as assisted reproductive technology, primarily to treat infertility but is also increasingly used to enable women without a male partner (i.e., single women and lesbians) to produce children by using sperm provided by a sperm donor. The woman is the gestational and genetic mother of the child produced, and the sperm donor is the genetic or biological father of the child.

Specifically, in artificial insemination, freshly ejaculated sperm, or sperm which has been frozen and thawed, is placed in the cervix (intracervical insemination) (ICI)) or in the female's uterus (intrauterine insemination) (IUI) by artificial means.

There are basically three ways of doing an at-home insemination:

1. "Turkey Baster Method"

This is the lowest tech approach. This procedure can be done at home by yourself, a partner, midwife or close friend. The sperm, either fresh or frozen and is simply squirted into the mom-to-be using a needle-less syringe or oral medicine syringe. Anyone using this method should first discuss it with their physician.

2. Insemination using a Cervical Cap

Using this method, the sperm is placed into a small (cervical) cap and put directly onto the cervix of the woman. The cervical cap is left in place for up to six hours giving all available sperm the opportunity to meet the egg. This medical procedure can be done either at home with a kit, or in a physician s office. Additional information about insemination using the cervical cap.

3. Intra-cervical insemination

This method is not recommended for at-home insemination. Your doctor needs to give you equipment and train you.