Home insemination with frozen sperm
chambers17 · 04/06/2017 10:53
Me and my partner are looking into home insemination using frozen sperm from a bank, any tips/info on how this works?
Possibly buying from overseas (European sperm bank) as more choice but unsure how it arrives, where we store extra etc?
Please help us haha!
Persipan · 04/06/2017 16:06
So, I have done this in the past, and I did twice become pregnant (although I unfortunately miscarried both times, so I've now gone back to clinic treatment and will also be using donor eggs).
If you want to order frozen sperm from a sperm bank for home insemination in the UK, you will have to order it from overseas; I'm not aware of any UK sperm bank who will do this. In fact, the only bank I'm aware of who will deliver to you at home is Cryos, which is who I used.
Delivery is either in a box full of dry ice, which will last a few days; or in a returnable tank full of liquid nitrogen, which will last a bit longer (how long depends on what size tank you order). It comes via a courier (mine was always DHL). You won't be able to store frozen sperm at home for any length of time; you need to order a delivery timed for each attempt (although you can reserve enough for a number of attempts). Your order will usually arrive the day after it's sent out, but not at weekends; and you usually have to order 2 days before it's sent. (So if, for example, you want it to arrive on Thursday, you need to order by the Monday at the latest unless you want to pay a rush fee). Beware Danish bank holidays, as well. Occasionally an order gets delayed (my order once got stuck in Germany for a day!) but generally it arrives by 12 noon on the day after it's sent. The liquid nitrogen tank is the yellowest thing you have ever seen.
In order to get the timing right for delivery, you need to develop a very, very good sense of when you/your partner will ovulate. I recommend spending at least three months monitoring ovulation with at least two different methods. It's tempting to want to get going, but it's very easy to waste money on badly-timed attempts.
On the subject of money, be aware that this approach can get expensive. There's 25% VAT on top of the prices Cryos quote, and you'll usually need several straws for a good chance of success. I was spending probably £1k or more on each attempt, and I've seen other people online who the number/MOT/profile of what they used would certainly have been costing more.
I'd also always recommend getting some basic tests done at a fertility clinic before embarking on home insemination, especially if you'll be paying for the sperm. This will cost a few hundred pounds, but could save you wasting a lot more money if it turns out there are any issues.
I'd actually recommend thinking about just getting clinic treatment full stop. It isn't massively more expensive than home insemination, and you have a clearer sense of the timing being correct (I was pretty damn good at timing my insems, but it's such a fraught thing deciding when to do it!) and if there are any issues with a cycle the clinic do have the option of keeping the sperm in the freezer for next time!
chambers17 · 04/06/2017 18:57
That response was really helpful, thank you so much. I read it to my partner and she agrees- at least with a clinic it's in professionals hands and you have extra guidance I guess. The thought of doing it together at home was lovely that's all but hey ho! It seems complicated and tricky
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