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TTC at home with frozen anonymous sperm

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 
Ack! I'm ordering my sperm tomorrow.

Does anyone have any words of wisdosm, hints on timing, advice, or triumphant first-time success stories?

I am using OPKs and I have a luna fertility lens. My plan is to watch for the surge, and inseminate 24 hours later. One vial. I'm on the fence about doing a second vial the following day.

Advice is totally solicited. Is there a thread on this already?

I'm trying to temp, again, but my chart always gets messed up by my wonky schedule, my dog deciding to hog the covers or snuggle close, and the crazy temperature fluctuations of early spring and a nutty building superintendent who keeps turning the heat up, up, up, and then off! It makes me nuts. : But it would be nice to know if I've already ovulated so I don't waste the second vial if I decide to go with two.

I really wish I wasn't doing ICI with frozen sperm, but I got thrown a curve ball or three and I really don't want to sit this cycle out! It would be so perfect if it worked this month.


The long story...

I really hate that I'm ovulating over the easter long weekend! I had planned on doing IUI at my doctor's office, but she's away that weekend.

Then we tried to get me into the fertility clinic in a hurry once we realized the bad timing. They cooperated to the extent that I didn't have wait for a spot to open up for an appointment, but it's too late for this cycle. They won't do just an IUI or two without doing a full work up and monitoring the whole cycle, and I'm already on CD 5 now, so it's too late. Their monitoring starts on CD 3.

I've decided not to cancel the intake appointment I have for CD 23, because that will be perfect timing to start with the fertility clinic next cycle. But I'm hoping I won't need it.

Overly optimistic? Maybe. But I'm 26 and I have really predictable cycles.
post #2 of 85

Congrats!

Wow! Congrats on getting started, it's so exciting! I know how it feels to have to sit out a month, which actually feels more like six weeks by the time you get down to it... We just sat out the last month due to travel and are about to order the lil swimmers for this month. It's such a crazy process!
My first reaction advice would be... go sit in a hot tub, have a beer, eat chinese food, have some stinky soft cheese... whatever you're going to freak out about if (when) you get pregnant on the first try, do it now while you still can! It seemed like as soon as we could have, maybe, possibly been pregnant all Heather wanted to do was all the stuff 'they' say not to do. So, do it all ahead of time!! Try to take some time to sit with yourself and think and relax and be excited, you'll never be in this place again! When you actually go ahead a do the deed, find some way to mark it as the amazing occassion that it is, whatever is special to you. Before long life will be coming at you at high speed again and you'll want to remember this step in the journey.
Good luck!
post #3 of 85
Hey FtMPapa-

We know how you feel- we decided to use a fertility doc to do our second round of insem at the last minute. (the first we did at home) Lucky for us our doctor was able to write an order for the fertility doc to do the insem, but not as *his* patient. It was like getting a scrip for the procedure only. Is this a possibility for you? Unfortunately we went by their timing (OPK only) and it didn't work. But using our own fertility awareness, it worked on the third try!


Also- just thinking- is there a midwife or naturopath who could do an IUI? I know that somewhere out there you can buy a kit to do an IUI at home. I personally wouldn't attempt it (looking at my cervix is enough, let alone threading a catheter into it : but there are folks out there who've at least tried!

So, no. I don't have any advice or better-than-average success stories. But still, best of luck!
post #4 of 85
Hey - how exciting!

I got knocked up at home with frozen anon ICI on the second try - is that good enough? (The first time the shipment didn't arrive in time, as I had to ship it X-country.) I was 24 with really predictable cycles and it pretty much worked like a charm. Uh...a very weird charm with dry ice and a syringe, I suppose.

GOOD LUCK! Peeing on sticks sucks. My only advice is to try to keep busy and preoccupied during the two-week wait. And not to tell anyone you don't want constantly asking if you have any "news." Oy.

ETA - IIRC I did the first of my 2 vials the day of the surge and the next a day or two later, when I was sure I was ovulating.
post #5 of 85
Congrats on this being your first time trying. It's mine too! I'm watching my cervical mucus and doing my charting. Any day now I am starting my inseminations. This is also my first time trying.

How come you don't want to do 2 vials? I say go for it-I've heard of many people getting pregnant at home with frozen sperm-you might as well go for it! It might actually be better at home as you can be relaxed and actually enjoy the process not being so medicalized.

Keep us posted on what happens!
post #6 of 85
We conceived using frozen anon donor sperm at home, on our first insem attempt.

I had charted for about 5 months, but the cycle we conceived on was different - I ovulated 3 days later than normal, pressumably due the stress of having $500 worth of sperm waiting in a dewar in our den! I used Clear Blue Easy OPK's and had my partner check my cervix with a plastic speculum we had purchased at an "adult" store. We inseminated at 10 & 24 hours after the first positive OPK, which also coincided with my cervix being wide open. Just for kicks, she checked my cervix at 36 hours and it had closed, so we knew our timing was right on.

Congrats on your insem & Good Luck!!!
post #7 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CynicalStar View Post
We conceived using frozen anon donor sperm at home, on our first insem attempt.

I had charted for about 5 months, but the cycle we conceived on was different - I ovulated 3 days later than normal, pressumably due the stress of having $500 worth of sperm waiting in a dewar in our den! I used Clear Blue Easy OPK's and had my partner check my cervix with a plastic speculum we had purchased at an "adult" store. We inseminated at 10 & 24 hours after the first positive OPK, which also coincided with my cervix being wide open. Just for kicks, she checked my cervix at 36 hours and it had closed, so we knew our timing was right on.

Congrats on your insem & Good Luck!!!
That is exactly the kind of success story I'm looking to hear! Thanks.

I ordered my sperm today, and my first choice donor is in, and I can pick it up next week! Ack!

That's not uncommon, to ovulate late - my doctor claims that most people do when they're monitoring and watching so carefully for the first time, so we did a dry run last month. I ovulated a few days later than I expected then, too.
post #8 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by expectantmami View Post
Congrats on this being your first time trying. It's mine too! I'm watching my cervical mucus and doing my charting. Any day now I am starting my inseminations. This is also my first time trying.

How come you don't want to do 2 vials? I say go for it-I've heard of many people getting pregnant at home with frozen sperm-you might as well go for it! It might actually be better at home as you can be relaxed and actually enjoy the process not being so medicalized.

Keep us posted on what happens!
Oh, I want to do 2 vials - I ordered two. I have heard of people using 2 vials for each of 2 insems per cycle - four vials per cycle, but I cannot afford to do that.
post #9 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by expectantmami View Post
Congrats on this being your first time trying. It's mine too! I'm watching my cervical mucus and doing my charting. Any day now I am starting my inseminations. This is also my first time trying.

How come you don't want to do 2 vials? I say go for it-I've heard of many people getting pregnant at home with frozen sperm-you might as well go for it! It might actually be better at home as you can be relaxed and actually enjoy the process not being so medicalized.

Keep us posted on what happens!
Oh! Now I see - I did say I was on the fence! I was! I am! I'm on the fence only because of the increased cost, but I've thought about it, and it's the way I'm going to go. If I go with the fertility clinic (if this cycle doesn't work) they only do one IUI per cycle, because they think their timing in infallible.
post #10 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxmomazon View Post
Hey FtMPapa-

We know how you feel- we decided to use a fertility doc to do our second round of insem at the last minute. (the first we did at home) Lucky for us our doctor was able to write an order for the fertility doc to do the insem, but not as *his* patient. It was like getting a scrip for the procedure only. Is this a possibility for you? Unfortunately we went by their timing (OPK only) and it didn't work. But using our own fertility awareness, it worked on the third try!


Also- just thinking- is there a midwife or naturopath who could do an IUI? I know that somewhere out there you can buy a kit to do an IUI at home. I personally wouldn't attempt it (looking at my cervix is enough, let alone threading a catheter into it : but there are folks out there who've at least tried!

So, no. I don't have any advice or better-than-average success stories. But still, best of luck!

Actually, that was helpful! It's nice to hear that their timing isn't infallible!

Yeah, I'm totally out of time, I had to order the sperm today, so I gave up on the IUI idea for this month.

I'm combining the OPKs with my own sense of my fertility. I think I need to work on getting better and more cervical mucus this month. I usually have some egg white, but the more the merrier, right?
post #11 of 85
We only did IUI, so I don't have any really practical experience to share. But I have been through the insanity of waiting to ovulate and worrying that we'll miss it, and it really is nothing less than insanity. I hope you know to pee on the OPK sticks more often as you get close to O time. I would recommend 3 times a day (NOT six times a day, as I have been known to do, lol). If you really know when the surge begins, you'll have a much better idea of when to inseminate (I don't know what the recommendations are for ICI and post-surge inseminations. I imagine it's different from IUI timing?). I always ovulate a day after the egg-white seems to have dried up. I was always SURE that we'd missed the O, but then I'd get the postive OPK, and I did have a 50% success rate for pregnancy, so I think we probably were timing it right. With ICI I think you'd want to be sure to inseminate before the egg-white dries up. Because without the egg-white, those spermies aren't going anywhere. I think it is probably the most important fertility signal for ICI, perhaps more important than OPK? I don't know.

Anyway, GOOD LUCK! That's great news that your first choice donor was instock!

Lex
post #12 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lexbeach View Post
I hope you know to pee on the OPK sticks more often as you get close to O time. I would recommend 3 times a day (NOT six times a day, as I have been known to do, lol). If you really know when the surge begins, you'll have a much better idea of when to inseminate (I don't know what the recommendations are for ICI and post-surge inseminations. I imagine it's different from IUI timing?). I always ovulate a day after the egg-white seems to have dried up. I was always SURE that we'd missed the O, but then I'd get the postive OPK, and I did have a 50% success rate for pregnancy, so I think we probably were timing it right. With ICI I think you'd want to be sure to inseminate before the egg-white dries up. Because without the egg-white, those spermies aren't going anywhere. I think it is probably the most important fertility signal for ICI, perhaps more important than OPK? I don't know.

Anyway, GOOD LUCK! That's great news that your first choice donor was instock!

Lex
My inner woo-woo self took it as a major sign that my first choice donor was not only in stock, but in stock in both washed and unwashed, and lots of it. That never happens! (But he's a brand new donor, so nobody has gotten attached to him yet.)

All I have to say about the # of OPKs is early-pregnancy-tests.com. I got twenty five plus ten pregnancy tests for about $25, including shipping. And I used at least ten of them last month during my dress rehearsal for this month.

I have the same thing, I ovulated after the egg white was gone last month. This month, I have to be more careful about only taking the test when my urine is concentrated, and taking it frequently. I wouldn't put it past me to test more than three times per day.

I have no idea what my ICI timing should be like - my Brill & Toevs knows, but it's out with a friend. I'm trying hard to get it back this week!
post #13 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by CynicalStar View Post
We conceived using frozen anon donor sperm at home, on our first insem attempt.

I used Clear Blue Easy OPK's and had my partner check my cervix with a plastic speculum we had purchased at an "adult" store.
OK, I know this is totally OT and I'm honestly not trying to offend anyone or their lifestyle but you can buy speculums at an adult store????? I know I'm naive but how are they sexy?

Anyway, sorry about that. FtMPapa, wishing you the very very very best of luck this month with your insemination! I had an IUI a week and a half ago so I know a bit of what you're going through! Can't wait to see your bfp announcement in a few weeks!
post #14 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by willthiswork View Post
OK, I know this is totally OT and I'm honestly not trying to offend anyone or their lifestyle but you can buy speculums at an adult store????? I know I'm naive but how are they sexy?

Anyway, sorry about that. FtMPapa, wishing you the very very very best of luck this month with your insemination! I had an IUI a week and a half ago so I know a bit of what you're going through! Can't wait to see your bfp announcement in a few weeks!

Thanks for the vote of confidence!

I do not find speculums sexy in the least, but some people like to play doctor. The feminist sex positive women's store around here sells them, too, whether for that purpose or for women to explore their own bodies, I am not sure, maybe both!
post #15 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by lexbeach View Post
We only did IUI, so I don't have any really practical experience to share. But I have been through the insanity of waiting to ovulate and worrying that we'll miss it, and it really is nothing less than insanity. I hope you know to pee on the OPK sticks more often as you get close to O time. I would recommend 3 times a day (NOT six times a day, as I have been known to do, lol). If you really know when the surge begins, you'll have a much better idea of when to inseminate (I don't know what the recommendations are for ICI and post-surge inseminations. I imagine it's different from IUI timing?). I always ovulate a day after the egg-white seems to have dried up. I was always SURE that we'd missed the O, but then I'd get the postive OPK, and I did have a 50% success rate for pregnancy, so I think we probably were timing it right. With ICI I think you'd want to be sure to inseminate before the egg-white dries up. Because without the egg-white, those spermies aren't going anywhere. I think it is probably the most important fertility signal for ICI, perhaps more important than OPK? I don't know.

Anyway, GOOD LUCK! That's great news that your first choice donor was instock!

Lex

As I am just going through this-I want to recommend something else (if you really want to make yourself crazy and know approximately when you surged). Get the OPK's with the lines-I was using the Clearblue Easy digital ones-I was experimenting and used both-yesterday they were both negative, however the generic one with the lines showed a darker line. I tested positive on CBE just now and the line on the other one was a little darker-so I know I surged between 7pm and 4am sometime....
post #16 of 85
Don't stress! Stress can delay you ovulation.

Personally, I start using tons of OPKs when I'm nearing O. I get the generic cheapie kind off ebay in lots of 100. I find I get better results with those than the more expensive ones in the store that are like $20 for a box of 7. Everyone is different, though.

I've been charting my cycles for almost 2 years now, so I know pretty well what my body does. I tend to have a good temp dip the morning after my +OPK, and then ovulate later that afternoon/evening. My AI in Feb, I did insems at 24 and 36 hours past +OPK. Didn't work for me. This time I did 12 and 24 hours past. And going by my O pains, I'm fairly positive I ovulated 8 hours after the second insem.

One thing some gals worry about is the life span of frozen sperm. I've heard that it only lives 12 hours after being thawed; although some others say up to 24. To help reassure myself, I checked a leftover drop under my microscope 16 hours after it had thawed. There were still plenty of live ones swimming around. And this was sperm that had been sitting in a container in an air conditioned room all night! So it can definitely last more than that 12 hour span.

How are you planning to do the insem? I've used Instead cups, as well as the catheter/syringe combo for ICI. Hoping for good news this cycle. :

As for your TWW...it's gonna drive you crazy. Do your best to hold out on testing, because if you test at 8 DPO and get a BFN, it's just gonna depress you. Trust me.
post #17 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by expectantmami View Post
As I am just going through this-I want to recommend something else (if you really want to make yourself crazy and know approximately when you surged). Get the OPK's with the lines-I was using the Clearblue Easy digital ones-I was experimenting and used both-yesterday they were both negative, however the generic one with the lines showed a darker line. I tested positive on CBE just now and the line on the other one was a little darker-so I know I surged between 7pm and 4am sometime....
Yeah, I bought a bunch from early-pregnancy-tests.com or something. They're dirt cheap, and they show the two lines so I can watch the LH increase and predict when it's going to actually surge.
post #18 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffie View Post
Don't stress! Stress can delay you ovulation.

To help reassure myself, I checked a leftover drop under my microscope 16 hours after it had thawed. There were still plenty of live ones swimming around. And this was sperm that had been sitting in a container in an air conditioned room all night! So it can definitely last more than that 12 hour span.

How are you planning to do the insem? I've used Instead cups, as well as the catheter/syringe combo for ICI. Hoping for good news this cycle. :

As for your TWW...it's gonna drive you crazy. Do your best to hold out on testing, because if you test at 8 DPO and get a BFN, it's just gonna depress you. Trust me.
Wow, that's good to hear! I keep hearing that it only lives up to 12 hours.

I'm just putting it in, and lying around for half an hour of so. I'll probably jack off, for purely medicinal purposes, of course.

I'm not planning to use cups or gizmos, I'm klutzy enough as it is, I don't need more gadgets to manipulate.
post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by FtMPapa View Post
I'm just putting it in, and lying around for half an hour of so. I'll probably jack off, for purely medicinal purposes, of course.
Hey, it's supposed to help, isn't it? Whatever works!
post #20 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffie View Post
Hey, it's supposed to help, isn't it? Whatever works!

Hey-here is to sperm logistics-be prepared as it can be a mood killer! At the risk of TMI:

On Saturday before the insem. we were both preocupied with holding the little swimmers close to our bodies-so pre-insemination it didn't work-post insemination, I was afraid that they would fall out, and DP was freaked out because there was someone else's bodily fluids in me-definate mood killers!

We have insem. number 2 tonight-we'll see what happens!

I hope you are able to!
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