"Washed " semen sample for an at home insemination . . .Updated post with new frustrating obstacles- - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 02-06-2009, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am pretty likely going with TSBC.
And we totally want to do At Home insemination.
But in my recent search I have discovered that MOST of the donors from TSBC only have washed samples available::

So I called TSBC to ask about this. She said- I can use unwashed OR washed for an at home insemination, which is not what I have heard from other sources.
Now I am confused. she also said there is more liklihood of pregnancy from an IUI than vaginal insem (what is the shortened term for that?).

However, we would really really like to inseminate in the privacy of our home, and without having to pay more money for the IUI.

So what is the deal with that? Can I use washed semen samples to inseminate at home? WIll it decrease ( or increase?!) the pregnancy chances?

Did anyone here do an at home insemination with sperm from TSBC and what did you do in this matter?

Thank You
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#2 of 18 Old 02-06-2009, 08:25 PM
 
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Hi Katie,

You can used washed samples for at-home non-IUI, just not the other way around. (You CAN'T use unwashed samples for an IUI without first washing them.)

My first at-home IUI got botched, and ended up just being a vaginal insemination, with washed sperm. I got pregnant.

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#3 of 18 Old 02-06-2009, 08:42 PM
 
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Then again, it's not that hard to do an IUI at home - and it is supposed to work better than a vaginal insemination with washed sperm (which you'll often hear referred to as ICI - intra cervical insemination, though that's technically wrong).

I might be wrong on this - but if I recall correctly, the new Brill book (the newer edition) corrects the older Brill & Toevs book, and she highly advises against using washed sperm for vaginal inseminations, though I know lots of people, like Angela, who've gotten pregnant from a vaginal insemination with washed sperm.

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#4 of 18 Old 02-06-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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Yeah, it's not that hard to do an IUI at home, but you do need certain equipment (catheter, speculum, etc.), and you need to be comfortable doing something that is a sterile procedure.

Also, if what you're hoping to do is have a romantic insemination experience, the IUI is not it.

I know that Brill is down on washed sperm for vaginal inseminations, but I think that if you get a vial with a high sperm count, it's probably just fine.

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#5 of 18 Old 02-07-2009, 12:35 AM
 
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chiming in with a pregnancy as a result of an at home IUI with with washed sperm.

giggle - mommy to GP born 3.16.09 and parter to liberty (GP's mama). hoping to have 2 under 2 in the very near future via DP's ute!
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#6 of 18 Old 02-07-2009, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay- so it sounds like using washed sperm is do-able for at home insem, but unwashed is better?
Is the unwashed batter because there is more liquid and nutrients for the sperm to swim in?

After I posted this topic I narrowed my search of donors and turns out the one I thinkI want to finally go with actually has unwashed available.

We are getting close to jjust going for it- it feels a bit like jumping off a ledge- just chosing a donor and going for it and hoping hoping for the best in terms of a healthy beautiful baby resulting from it. I am Getting close to jumping !
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#7 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi- I posted this a few weeks back, but then the donor I chose had raw-unwashed samples, so I thought it was a non issue.

So here is my latest obstacle and I am feeling grrrr about it but also hoping it will still be okay.
I have been trying to "Register" with TSBC for about 2 weeks now, and there have been a few setbacks. for one, my midwife's first fax never went through, whatever- anyway- now today, we are almost registered- except a hold up in my credit card which will iron out soon.

But in the last week- four days and seven days ago, the last three vials of unwashed sperm from the donor I chose got sold to other people!:
I am so irked!
So now it is after huors, but now they are waiting to process my 100 dollar registration form and there was a mix up- and now they can't do That till Friday unless I pay an extra 100 dollars.

But my real issue is that if I want to use this donor I only have washed samples available to me now. And even those I now feel like I should pay the extra stupid $100 to lock it down tomorrow.

But I am so bummed!
We really do not want to do an IUI, either at home or at the doctors.
I was so psyched that the donor I chose had unwashed.
I will be ovulating in 2 weeks or less and we were-are getting so happy to go for it finally.
I also got really attached to this donor- he is the only one we want.

So I guess that leaves me with using washed semen for an at home insem.
And if the stupid paperwork had worked out originally- or if I had KNOWN there was only 3 vials of unwashed left- I could have gotten to it sooner.

How weird and Frustrating that the unwashed sold out 3 f-ing days ago!

So I looked back over this thread and saw some of you have gotten pregnant at home with washed, right?
But if all the extra fluid is taken out, what does the sperm swim in?

I am really mad!
Should we use preseed with it?
any advice?
I feel like pitching a fit! I feel angry- but not sure who to even be angry at!

Help! We really need and want this cycle to work.

Is it a really decreased chance of conceiving with vaginal insem using washed samples?

Thanks :
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#8 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, I don't really WANT to at all- but if the chances of pregnancy are higher doing an at home IUI than vaginal insem I guess I can consider it.
It is less ideal of an option but as long as it can just be me and my love at home I can handle it.

How do I do an at home IUI? where do I find out how to do it? Can anyone tell me step by step? I am not sure if I can get that book- any internet resources?
Where do you get the supplies for it? Does it hurt?

And does anyone know How much better of a chance it is at pregnancy (since we Have to use washed) than just inserting it?

I am so bummed! But I will get over it - it is just this initial frustration.

As long as we can still use our donor, and get pregnant at home, I will be fine.
GRR! (that is me still being mad that my unwashed samples sold 4 days ago and I only didn't get them cause of stupid techinical obstacles. How weird!)

Thanks for any advice- I really need it! No one IRL has any clue what to tell me ( I just told my mom and my dh)
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#9 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 11:14 PM
 
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the sperm swims in your egg white cervical mucus with unwashed samples just as it does with washed samples. sperm washing simply gets rid of the dead or slow swimming sperm resulting in a more concentrated mix.

our bank supplied us with the materials needed to do an at home iui (minus the speculum - we purchased the speculum from amazon.com). you may want to ask the bank you have chosen if they send any insemination supplies since they know you will be doing home inseminations. if not, ask them where you can get the supplies from and they should be able to offer suggestions.

giggle - mommy to GP born 3.16.09 and parter to liberty (GP's mama). hoping to have 2 under 2 in the very near future via DP's ute!
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#10 of 18 Old 02-24-2009, 11:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Katie34 View Post

I am really mad!
Should we use preseed with it?
any advice?
I feel like pitching a fit! I feel angry- but not sure who to even be angry at!

Help! We really need and want this cycle to work.

Is it a really decreased chance of conceiving with vaginal insem using washed samples?

Thanks :
Hey Katie34, I'm so sorry about your experience with TSBC. We've worked with them for almost 3 years now and while lovely, kind, well meaning people work there, consistency, efficiency and transparency are not their strong points. So while I know it doesn't change your situation - you aren't alone with this level of frustration.

From what I know, if you have a lot of fertile mucus (and aren't on clomid) then the washed sperm should be okay, especially if you are able to locate your cervix and deposit the sperm right there.

Good luck

CJ

Professional nerd, DP to Megan and mommy to 3 y/o Bam Bam . TTC since January '09.  Welcomed our new babes May 22, 2011. Now living life in the NICU one day at a time.
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#11 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Katie34 View Post
Also, I don't really WANT to at all- but if the chances of pregnancy are higher doing an at home IUI than vaginal insem I guess I can consider it.
It is less ideal of an option but as long as it can just be me and my love at home I can handle it.

How do I do an at home IUI? where do I find out how to do it? Can anyone tell me step by step? I am not sure if I can get that book- any internet resources?
Where do you get the supplies for it? Does it hurt?

And does anyone know How much better of a chance it is at pregnancy (since we Have to use washed) than just inserting it?

I am so bummed! But I will get over it - it is just this initial frustration.

As long as we can still use our donor, and get pregnant at home, I will be fine.
GRR! (that is me still being mad that my unwashed samples sold 4 days ago and I only didn't get them cause of stupid techinical obstacles. How weird!)

Thanks for any advice- I really need it! No one IRL has any clue what to tell me ( I just told my mom and my dh)
I do believe that you would have a better chance of pregnancy doing IUI (maybe double the chance?), but that doesn't mean that it's impossible for it to work doing IVI. Along with IUI just generally being more successful when using frozen sperm, washed sperm don't live as long as unwashed, so doing an IVI with washed sperm would give you an even smaller window in which to catch the egg. But as Angela experienced--it can happen!

I personally would not feel comfortable having someone who had never even witnessed an IUI before perform one on me (though, I also have a tipped cervix, so my IUIs were a little more complicated than they are for some). Do you have any midwife friends who could be there just to get things set up (and then your dh could still be the one to insert the sperm)? The experience of IUI is similar to a pap smear. Not especially painful, sometimes a little uncomfortable.

I'm sorry your sperm bank experience has been so irksome thus far. :

Good luck!

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#12 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 10:05 AM
 
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Chiming in as another mama who got pregnant with washed sperm and a vaginal at-home insemination.

I desperately wanted it to work on that first cycle since it was the last one my partner would be present for for several months (work issues). I had a long list of issues come up but ended up getting some sperm from Midwest about 2 days before ovulation. Midwest has ONLY washed samples. On here, in the Brill book, and on some other boards a lot of people said they wouldn't bother trying, but we did it anyway.

The result of that vaginal insemination is waking up right now, so I have to go. FYI, we're planning another vaginal insem (with DP carrying this one!) hoping for a sibling soon...

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#13 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 10:42 AM
 
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Katie, sorry you are feeling so frustrated.

I wouldn't blame TSBC. I think most of the ladies here could tell you stories about having a favorite donor sell out. We certainly had it happen to us a few times. I've even had the experience where I "stalked" a certain donor and how many vials he had avail and thought I would purchase if they were getting low... The first one I fell "in love" with had 20 IUI vials avail for close to a month and then poof! they were all gone. I think most would tell you to have a top 5 because often times donors sell out between the time you research them and the time you call to order. And in the end, the donor you will love the most is the one who gets you pregnant.

As far as using IUI for ICI insemination, it is certainly doable as others on here have posted. The benefits of unwashed sperm for ICI is that having the semen means they do have a slightly longer life span (12-24hrs from what I have read) and often times those units are a little cheaper. The cons of using washed sperm for ICI are the shorter life span (6-12hrs) and the added expense. But one pro that Giggleblue mentioned is that the washing process tends to weed out a lot of dead or bad sperm so in a way the sample is more "concentrated", giving you more healthy sperm and therefore, a better chance of pregnancy. I know another board where the ladies there actually prefer the IUI samples for ICI for that reason.

As far as doing an IUI at home, I wouldn't recommend it. We did it, but I am in the medical field and was very comfortable with it. And I think that most sperm banks do not allow you to do "do-it-yourself" IUIs, so I wouldn't mention that you were thinking about that to the bank or they may not allow you to purchase.

And I respectfully disagree with giggleblue's recommendation to use a speculum for ICI insemination. You run the very real risk of pulling some of the sample out with the speculum. As long as your partner is comfortable with finding your cervix by feel alone, just using a syringe +/- a catheter will do the job. Guide the syringe or catheter til you feel it up against the cervix and deposit the sample there.

It will all work out. Good Luck

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#14 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 10:54 AM
 
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And I respectfully disagree with giggleblue's recommendation to use a speculum for ICI insemination. You run the very real risk of pulling some of the sample out with the speculum. As long as your partner is comfortable with finding your cervix by feel alone, just using a syringe +/- a catheter will do the job. Guide the syringe or catheter til you feel it up against the cervix and deposit the sample there.
good point. i need to remind myself that an ICI is not an IUI. hence the speculum wouldn't be helpful and would in fact pull out a lot of the sample with it.

we did however, also find the speculum handy in determining the state of the os close to times of ovulation and to determine if enough cervical mucus was present, however for ICI, i wouldn't recommend using it for the actual insemination itself.

thanks smartycat for noting that!

giggle - mommy to GP born 3.16.09 and parter to liberty (GP's mama). hoping to have 2 under 2 in the very near future via DP's ute!
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#15 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 11:28 AM
 
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I do inseminations for women pretty frequently. Even though I have trained backup midwives to help me out when the women need a little help and I am at a birth, most of the women I work with will choose to self-inseminate at home instead of having a stranger help them if I'm not available (some choose to do it at home from the beginning, but I'm talking about women who ordered washed sperm and were planning iuis). I've had a couple of pregnancies result from these insems. I think the key is that we wait as long as possible before giving up on the idea that I can come and help, so the women get very, very close to ovulation and sometimes even end up insemming on the morning after the temp rise.

My suggestions for home insems --

No lube for 2-3 days before insemming (except preseed). No water or saliva in the vagina the day of the insemination.

Don't use a speculum at the moment of insemination, for the reasons mentioned above.

Don't use an instead cup or other method for keeping the swimmers up there unless you are using fresh sperm. There just isn't enough volume to be worth it and using these things change the shape of the vagina and also the temperature (trapping heat). The midwives at Maia seem to feel this way too.

If you have a tipped uterus, make sure to spend some time afterward rolling around in different positions to allow the sperm to get into the os. You can inseminate in whatever position, but just rotate a little afterwards.

An orgasm afterwards (without penetration) is very beneficial.

When using frozen sperm, especially washed sperm, timing is very important. Ideally, you want to be as close as possible to ovulation without being after it (though I have had a couple of pregnancies where we obviously inseminated after the temp jump).

To insem at home: Take a needleless syringe, draw the sperm up into it, use a finger to guide it to the back of the vagina behind the cervix, remove the finger and depress the plunger.

Good luck!

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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#16 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses everyone. How weird is it, though, that the last 3 vials of unwashed happened to sell out the very week that I was processing paperwork to get it together?

I am thinking (on a philisophical note here) that I am learning that part of becomming an adult ( I am 35) is learning how to handle obstacles with grace.
I am trying to say- okay, it is what it is, let's just go for it and hope for the best.

so my plan is- when TSBC opens today I will finalize my order so I can atleast still have the donor we want.
If it works, great! If not, I guess I will look for a different donor who has unwashed and try that the following cycle.

I think we won't do IUI, we'll just do 2 vials of washed and hope for a baby.

Thanks again.
I am still sad and mad but getting a little more okay with it!
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#17 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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I am thinking (on a philisophical note here) that I am learning that part of becomming an adult ( I am 35) is learning how to handle obstacles with grace.
I am trying to say- okay, it is what it is, let's just go for it and hope for the best.

!
That's fantastic preparation for being a mom, too!

I've read it's tricky to do IUI at home anyway unless there's a third party present to hold a flashlight. You really gotta get those swimmers in exactly the right place.

Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it goes!
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#18 of 18 Old 02-26-2009, 02:14 AM
 
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I've read it's tricky to do IUI at home anyway unless there's a third party present to hold a flashlight. You really gotta get those swimmers in exactly the right place.
Get one of those head lamps like for camping. It was probably the best TTC purchase next to the speculum and the sperm.

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