At home insem with frozen donor sperm? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 04-10-2007, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone do this? What are the logistics? Shipping, storing, defrosting, etc?

Thanks!
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#2 of 11 Old 04-10-2007, 05:17 PM
 
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I do! However I do it in the U.S. and I think you are in Canada, right? I've heard there are different laws and such for frozen sperm than in the U.S. You may want to ask FTMPapa about that as he is in Canada...Toronto I think.

Anyway, this is how it works for me. I signed up with a sperm bank. Mine didn't require a Dr. signature but many banks do. On the first day of my cycle I order two vials for ICI insemination to be delivered to my door on cycle day 13 (since I tend to ovulate on cd 15 or 16). It is delivered in a 22lb tank wrapped in a very well padded box. Inside is nitrogen and 2 1ml vials of frozen sperm. I peak inside and check the numbers on the vials to make sure they sent the right ones and then pack it back up and hide it in a closet until it is time. Once my body is screaming inseminate me! Jake (my partner) takes out a vial while wearing some knit gloves cuz they are too cold to handle for the first few minutes. Once it is warm enough to touch Jake takes the still frozen vial and sticks it in his sports bra to finish the job. Careful not to turn it upside down as it will coat the cap and then you have less to use. The whole defrosting takes all of 10 minutes. Some banks and some people defrost it using warm water but I'm always afraid I'll cook the little guys. I can't get the water temp right for a proper cup of tea! I'm not going to risk boiling $550 worth of sperm.

Queer poly family trying since October 2006. Currently using a known donor and no medical interventions.
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#3 of 11 Old 04-10-2007, 05:51 PM
 
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I'm in Canada.

There are three banks: Xytec (Newmarket - suburb of Toronto) and Can-Am Cryo (Hamilton, ON) import sperm from the US.

Repromed is based in Toronto (Etobicoke) and it's a local sperm bank. For me, it's the cheapest. They don't offer open ID sperm, which is fine with me, because there are no guarantees.

Also, I'm anticipating that the laws here will change a lot around sperm in the next 18 years.

Finally, to me it's not worth the extra $100 a vial that Xytec and Can-Am charge for ID release sperm, because they just have to provide you/your child with the most current contact info they have for the donor.

With the 'net, and what I know about the donor, if I wanted to track him down in 18 years, I probably could. I'm jus' sayin'.

Ok, so that's the sperm banks.

So, you look at the catologues, you choose your donor. Repromed wants you to choose three just in case your favourite isn't in. I had an easy time choosing two, I finally just picked a third, and it didn't matter because my first one was in.

You figure out your method of insemination - ICI or IUI, because you want either standard or washed sperm. I'm doing ICI this cycle, so I chose standard.

Shipping. If you're local to Toronto/Hamilton area, it's pretty cheap, they send it by same day courier, depending on the bank you choose, it's between $75 and $100. If you're not, they send it by Fed-Ex overnight.

You order the sperm on the first day of your cycle, I actually waited until CD 5 or so, because some shit was up in the air. If you need them to do the shipping within three business days, you pay an extra charge - $50 or so, depending on which bank. Because of the long weekend, my sperm left Repromed on Wednesday, I picked it up Thursday.

Now, this is where it gets tricky. In Canada, the sperm banks won't ship to your house, as far as I know. I don't know if it's illegal, but they won't do it, so it doesn't matter. You don't actually need a doctor's signature to order (I just faxed my order in), but you do need it to be shipped to a doctor.

I'm lucky - my doctor let me pick it up from her office and take it home. That is not technically illegal, it's alegal - a grey area. At the doctor's office, I went over the shipment with a nurse, she had some paperwork for me, including an information release so that I've allowed them to tell Repromed if I get pregnant this cycle for the purposes of limiting the number of pregnancies per donor, and for various stats and what have you.

We double-checked to make sure that the shipment was from the same date (same ejaculation) and the same donor, and that the donor was the one I'd ordered. Yup, yup, yup.

Then, I took the tank home.

Now you gather anyone in your household or family or social circles who might have a wart, and you use the liquid nitrogen from the tank to burn it off. In my case, my dog. : Ok, maybe that's just me...anyway.

Then, you pee obsessively on your OPKs until you get a surge. I've been peeing on sticks twice and three times a day. The best, cheap ones are the ones from www.early-pregnancy-tests.com or something like that. Expect them to take forever to get here, they ship from the US.

Once you think your timing is good, you put on gloves, open the tank, pull out the ladle, which lifts the cane, you pull out the cane, which holds the vials, you pull one vial out, and replace everything.

I held the vial in my gloved hand until it was warm enough to hold in my bare hand - about five minutes. Then I continued warming it in my hand until the semen was liquid. Probably another ten minutes. First it thaws, and it's clumpy, then it liquifies. In that time, you don't want to tip the vial too much, you don't want to disperse the sperm or lose any to the lid or spill it.

You don't get much - 0.8 ml in a standard, 0.6 ml in a pre-washed vial.

For ICI,
Once the semen is liquified, you draw it all up with a tuberculin 1 cc (or insulin) syringe without the needle. I took a small drop and put it on my LUNA fertility lens, and held it up to my light so I could watch it swim around. There were swimmers! Lots of 'em!

I only did that just because I wanted to. If I hadn't seen any swimmers, I probably could have complained to the sperm bank that it was a low count/motility sample, but my lens was filled with them, so I felt good about them being alive and active.

Then, you put your hips up, and lay back, and you insert the syringe and slowly depress the plunger. You want to do it slowly so that you're not spraying the sperm into your cervix (or worse - through it!) and so that they're not bouncing off the walls in there. You want a nice little puddle of sperm just at the cervix.

After that, whatever. You lay there for twenty minutes, you have an orgasm, you have a nap, your call.

Goooooood luck!

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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#4 of 11 Old 04-10-2007, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thanks for all that info, Papa. I so appreciate it! Just PMed you.

about the dog.
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#5 of 11 Old 04-10-2007, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you need a doc referral to the bank in Etobicoke? You need a doc referral to the bank here.
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#6 of 11 Old 04-10-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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No, you don't need a referral, but you do need a doc to take the order.

Like I said in my PM, the "bank" in London is a fertility clinic, as far as I know, not a sperm bank. You do need a referral to the fertility clinics here.

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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#7 of 11 Old 05-07-2007, 12:45 AM
 
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I did at home DI with frozen sperm (ICI), but I don't know what I could add to FTMPapa's detailed description!

I did it before I moved to Canada from the US, and have since learned that there are loopholes if for any reason you want to get the stuff from another clinic or not through a doctor (important for us if we wanted to have anther shot with the same donor).

Uh...all I can add is that is looks like a very small amount of goods you get in that tiny vial. And no matter what you do I think it's a bizarre experience.

Oh, here's something I can really add b/c I did 2 cycles at home, one with a nitrogen tank and one with dry ice, and as long as you live in a city where you can get more dry ice I'd totally recommend that over the nitrogen tank. It's cheaper (lighter, no deposit on the tank) and you have a longer potential time frame, since you can just refill the ice in the cooler to keep it frozen, whereas with the tank once the nitrogen evaporates you're pretty much out of time (unless you are near the bank and can get a refill, I guess).
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#8 of 11 Old 05-07-2007, 03:45 PM
 
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we really wanted to home ICI with frozen sperm to conceive dd, but in the end we were not able to find a doctor in Ottawa willing to sign off on it. We did find the very helpful Dr. B. who will do IUIs with u/s monitoring and no other interventions, and bills all except for sperm to OHIP. Which is a pretty good 2nd choice. But we really really wanted to at home ICI and were not able to get the dr's signature we needed... I'd track down FTMPapa's doc if I were you!
Good luck!
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#9 of 11 Old 05-08-2007, 10:23 PM
 
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I'd just second the idea of doing IUI at your gynecologists office rather than at home.

My partner is a doctor and I wouldn't have her or any other friend do it. Why? It's not all that easy and when dealing in $200 sperm, I wanted somebody who knows what they're doing. Second, it can range from mildly uncomfortable to downright painful and I didn't want to be mad at her for making me hurt.

For me, IUI is about as romantic as a pap-smear. I mean, it's just not something that a friend or lover needs to be doing to me.

We went to a student health clinic gynecologist with nitrogen tank (or cooler) in tow on the day we wanted it done and it worked out fine. I had no ultrasounds or anything, it was just a normal gynecologist that I had talked to in advance and I just called the day I wanted to go in. We might have missed a cycle because of a weekend ovulation, but otherwise it was very inexpensive to do the procedure... I think around $50 or something... well worth the money.

I think if you're really sure that you want to do it at home with a friend, do a practice run through start to finish. It's tricky to get the speculum and catheter and syringe and sperm and everything sterile and everything going where it needs to go. But really, consider a regular gynecologist.
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#10 of 11 Old 05-09-2007, 01:19 AM
 
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For me the thought of having a stranger insem me doesn't feel comfortable. (I'll do it if I get to the point where I need a lot of intervention to get preggers but I'm not at that point yet.) Nothing about this process is all that 'romantic'. I leave the romance obsession in ttc to the straight people. At least with my partner we can laugh and have a little fun with it. Jake uses a speculum to cervix gaze on me about ten days a month so we have that down pat. We already use a cath to insem we just don't stick it though my os. As for the pain, well, I don't really care about the pain. I never did. I wouldn't get mad at my partner if the insem hurt. I'll be more able to deal with the pain if it was my partner doing it as he will be more responsive to me. All in all, at home IUI is the right choice for me. It isn't for everyone, which is true about a lot of my life choices.

Queer poly family trying since October 2006. Currently using a known donor and no medical interventions.
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#11 of 11 Old 05-09-2007, 10:35 AM
 
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A lay midwife did our at-home IUIs. We found her through MDC.
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