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What Are the Pros and Cons of at-Home Insemination?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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While at-home insemination is a viable option for those trying to conceive, there are many factors a woman might consider before making this choice. For some women, personal comfort is a major factor in deciding while others focus more on affordability. The ease with which a person can schedule an insemination for her ovulation date can play a role as well. As far as the cons are concerned, a woman may regret the lack of monitoring by a medical professional when performing an insemination at home.

One of the main pros of performing an insemination at home is privacy. Many women prefer inseminating at home to conceiving in a doctor’s office or clinic. Often, it is a matter of feeling more relaxed and comfortable at home that makes the difference. Individuals who are married or committed to a relationship may also appreciate the privacy at-home insemination provides, as it allows a couple to make insemination an intimate event. For instance, some couples light the room with candles, play music, and then cuddle afterwards.

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Some people also prefer trying to conceive at home because of costs. If a person has free sperm, such as from a known donor, she can perform an insemination for the cost of an insemination kit. This can dramatically differ from the amount she might pay a doctor to do it for her. Sometimes artificial insemination procedures cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the medical professional, cost of sperm, and any accompanying medical procedures. Medical insurance doesn’t always cover the cost of artificial insemination, so a woman often has to cover the costs out of her own pocket.

Timing does play a role in conceiving a child, and a woman must inseminate near the time of ovulation. She usually has a window of a few days in which conception with fresh sperm is likely. When dealing with thawed frozen sperm, however, this window may be even shorter. Frozen sperm usually survives for 24 hours or less in the reproductive tract, and a woman’s egg lasts for about the same amount of time. Inseminating at home means a woman can perform the procedure when the time is right for her rather than when a doctor’s office or clinic is open.

A major con of inseminating at home is the lack of monitoring often available with in-office procedures. Women who choose at-home insemination are less likely to have ultrasounds to evaluate when their ovaries are close to releasing an egg, for example. This can make pinpointing the most likely day of ovulation more difficult. Likewise, some doctors may be reluctant to provide fertility drugs, such as those that induce ovulation, when a woman chooses to perform an insemination at home.

When a medical professional performs an insemination, the patient can benefit from his or her expertise. Without a medical professional's help, however, a woman may have a more difficult experience. She may wonder whether she is depositing the sperm in the right place, such as close to the cervix, and question whether she is handling the insemination correctly. If a problem occurs, such as spilling a portion of the sperm sample, she may wonder if there is still enough left to impregnate her. A medical professional, such as a fertility specialist, usually has the experience and training to deal with such concerns.

Women may also worry more about health risks when performing at-home insemination procedures. In a medical office, the staff has the responsibility of keeping equipment sterile and lowering the risk of introducing germs into the vaginal tract. Sometimes, maintaining sterility can be harder at home. Still, a woman can significantly lower her risks by making sure everyone involved with the insemination washes his or her hands prior to beginning.

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