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Timing the Home ICI with Frozen Sperm

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi, everyone.  I just stumbled on this site, and I'm so glad I did.  My wife and I have a son who will start Kindergarten in a few weeks, but we've been trying for a second for three years now (with major breaks between due to crazy schedules, limited funds, heartache, etc.).  We conceived our son 6 years ago (when I was 33) with our first IUI at the RE's office.  It was a natural cycle (no meds), just monitoring at the RE's office and with OPKs at home.  If I remember correctly, I tested at noon, and when I got the positive I called my RE.  I think we had a 9am appointment the next morning.  It worked, and we didn't know then just exactly how lucky we were.


Since then, we have done three IUIs with increasing levles of medication (because I was older) in 2008 (two singles and one back-to-back).  Then in 2009 we did an IVF, and we did another in 2010.  My RE labeled me older and a "poor responder," but otherwise there are no tests or diagnoses that would indicate a cause for secondary infertility.  All this is to say that the lack of conception was really challenging and frustrating, as well as expensive.  We still haven't let go of the hope of having a second baby, but time is running out.  I can't shake the feeling that perhpas going low-tech old-school is the ticket.  While it is counter to conventional medical wisdom (that IUIs and certainly IVFs are the most likely to be successful), it feels like a viable option to us.


So, we're going to attempt three home ICIs (at 39).  We've never done this.  I have read through the various threads (and searched for hours online), but I am hoping to get information specifically on the timing of using frozen sperm at home.  Given what I remember about our IUI, the insemination was ~21 hours later.  But, it was an IUI and there was less of a sperm viability issue as the swimmers were deposited directly into my uterus.  The viability of both the egg as it travels down the fallopian tube and the swimmers in an ICI insemination concerns me re the timing.  I've only started charting this month, but I'm pretty regular.  I surged at approximately the right time, I have EWCM (although more would be better), but I don't see ferning (saliva).  I just ordered a speculum because that would allow us to have valuable additional information, so hopefully we could have a concentration of positive fertility signs as a indication we are set to "go." 


Do any of you lovely queer parents have stories about home ICI, specifically about timing?  I would be so grateful!  Thanks.

post #2 of 4

Hey, glad you found us!  Welcome to Queer Parenting.  :)  


My very first suggestion is going to be reading, following, and participating in our Queer Conceptions thread, we start a new one each month.  The very first page has on it all the queers who are trying to conceive and where in the process they are.  That thread is chock full of people with great advice and tons of support, I can't recommend it more highly.  


As far as the actual ICI insemination and timing, I can offer some advice but you should take it with a grain of salt, as this is our very first cycle of actually inseminating.  We've been planning and charting and researching for months and months, but we're waiting right now to find out if my DW is pregnant or not.  So, that having been said:  the timing for ICI actually does not need to be as perfect as the timing for IUI.  Since IUI sperm is washed, there are fewer swimmers and they don't have the opportunity to live in the protective environment of fertile cervical mucus.  ICI vials typically have more sperm and more semen, and the semen is also something that helps the sperm live longer.  I think the most important thing is to know about how long after a positive OPK you actually ovulate - of course, the best way to figure that out is by seeing when your temp rises after a positive OPK.  There is some debate as to how long thawed ICI sperm lives, but the conservative figures say about 12 hours inside the body.  More liberal guesses go all the way up to 48 hours, but I don't know that I really believe that.  If you can make it happen, it would probably be best to do two vials per cycle and space it so your O is always covered.  


Anyway, long enough of a ramble here, the ladies in QC will have tons of advice for you!  Hopefully we will see you there soon.  

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you, DesertSunsets!  Good luck!

post #4 of 4

I know this thread is a bit old but from my POV you could be inseming way to late in the game. You want 3 fertility signs to line up, I know for me I need to insem at surge. If I waited the 12-24-36 hours many people wait it would have been to late. I have only done 2 cycles but I got prego both times so I figure I have some idea what I'm doing. The best advice I got while TTC came from the book The Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth by Kim Toevs. That book is all about TTC with donor sperm and has gotten lots of ladies knocked up:)

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