Most vaginal inseminations are done at home with vials shipped directly to your home or picked up from our office. Vaginal inseminations can be done with washed (IUI) or raw (ICI) vials. You will need to leave the vial in the shipping tank until ready to use.
You can also have in-home IUIs with a midwife’s assistance. See the list of Bay Area midwives in our resources section under “Helpful websites”.
Preparing the vial(s) for vaginal insemination
- Before removing the vial(s) from the tank, please put on protective gloves like latex, gardening, or dishwashing gloves, as the vial(s) will initially be too cold to touch with bare hands.
- Each vial will be labeled with the donor number, date of ejaculate, and “TSBC”—please confirm that you’ve received the correct sample(s).
- To thaw the vial, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Once thawed, the contents of the vial will be liquid. Warm the vial to body temperature in your hands or under your arm before inseminating.
- Please note: once you have thawed a vial, you cannot refreeze the sperm.
Doing a vaginal insemination
You will need a needleless syringe for vaginal insemination which will be included with your shipment or pick-up.
- Remove the syringe from the cellophane wrapper, and pump the plunger in and out a couple of times to break the seal.
- Do not clean the syringe before using it; even rinsing the syringe with plain water could kill sperm.
- Shake the thawed vial well before removing its lid, then insert the tip of the syringe into the vial and draw the semen into the syringe by pulling the plunger up. Be careful not to pull the plunger all the way out of the syringe. There’s sufficient suction in the syringe that you can set a full syringe down on a surface without the semen coming out.
- Lie down with your hips elevated on pillows. You may want to put a towel beneath you, as you will leak seminal fluid (but not sperm) after inseminating.
- Reach to the back of your vagina to locate your cervix, which should feel round and smooth, like the tip of your nose.
- Insert the full syringe, directing its tip toward the top of your cervix, remove your fingers, and depress the plunger.
- Remain lying down with your hips elevated for 15-30 minutes.
- It can also be helpful to have an orgasm after insemination (provided no penetration is involved), as the uterus will lift up, causing the cervix to dip down into the pool of sperm, while the contractions of orgasm will help move the sperm up into the uterus.
These instructions will be included with your retrieval documents.