Let’s Explain Artificial Insemination First…
Unfortunately some couples experience difficulties conceiving and sometimes it is because the male has a low sperm count or is completely infertile or it may be because he has a genetic disease which he does not want to pass on to his children. Lesbian couples and single women will also need to use an insemination method in order to have a child.
When an home insemination is to be carried out, the sperm is thawed and then washed to eliminate any bad or slow moving sperm; so that what’s left is of optimum quality. It is then put into the woman’s womb using a catheter. The procedure is virtually painless and usually takes no more than 10 minutes.
However, there are certain disadvantages to using artificial insemination. Although the sperm is tested for HIV and other diseases, a recipient is normally only given details of the donor’s hair and eye colour, height and weight.
There is no information on medical history and not all genetic diseases are covered in the screening method, which could affect your child’s health in the future. Character traits will also be a mystery, so there is very little that a woman knows about the person from whom the sperm originated.
It is also said that thawed sperm doesn’t perform as well as fresh sperm and therefore more than one procedure may be necessary to ensure a pregnancy.
If you don’t want to risk using frozen sperm, or you don’t like the thought of conceiving a child in the atmosphere of a fertility clinic with an unknown donor, then natural insemination through sexual intercourse is a good option.
Should the Donor and I Have Any Tests before Natural Insemination and What Should They be?
The more tests you have, the better protected you, your donor and your future child will be. Sperm analysis should be the first test to think about to ensure the donor sperm is healthy and fertile.
You should both have a blood test to find out your blood types. A person who is Rh negative and conceives with a person who is Rh positive could mean your baby may have health problems. There is an injection you can have, called anti D immunoglobulin which will protect your baby if this is the case with you and your donor.
Tests for HIV, Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C will of course protect you and any child you conceive from these diseases.
Can I Use Any Sexual Position if I want to get Pregnant by Natural Insemination?
Although in reality any sexual position can result in pregnancy, it is better not to use a standing position, or one where the woman is on top. These positions are less likely to be successful because the sperm can escape through the vagina and so there are fewer sperm making their way up into the cervix.
It is said that for the best possible chance of a pregnancy, it is best to choose the missionary position; or on all fours, ‘doggy style’ because this allows for deeper penetration and means that the sperm end up closer to the cervix.
There are lots of old wives tales too like sitting up after sexual intercourse with your legs up against the wall so that the sperm travels upwards faster and drinking grapefruit juice to thin the cervical mucus to make the journey easier for the travelling sperm. If you browse some of the pregnancy forums on the internet, you will see that some women swear they got pregnant using these methods!
Don’t worry if you can’t use the positions recommended, just choose a position that makes you feel comfortable because this will help you to feel positive and relaxed.
When Is The Best Time To Go Ahead With Natural Insemination?
The best time to go ahead with natural insemination is to have intercourse the day before you ovulate because this is when the egg and the sperm are at their best and a successful result is more likely.
The egg will only be ready for fertilisation for a period of between 12 and 24 hours, although sperm can survive between 3 and 5 days and if you keep track of your periods you will have a better chance of knowing when you ovulate.
Ovulation is when an egg is released into one of your fallopian tubes. There are a variety of symptoms that should give you some clues, such as swelling and tender breasts, stomach cramps an increased desire for sex, a rise in body temperature and a change in the thickness of your cervical mucus.
Keep a note of the day and date you start your period and the day it stops, do this for a couple of months and you should see a pattern emerging which will tell you how many days you have between one period and the next. Usually it is 28 days, but it can be longer or shorter.
When you know your monthly cycle, you can then pinpoint ovulation because it normally occurs in the middle of your cycle, for example in a 28 day cycle, ovulation will take place at around day 14. If you have a 30 day cycle then it will be around day 15.
You can also buy ovulation kits which will tell you when you are ovulating and you can get these from your chemist.
Are There Any Risks Using a Sperm Donor for Natural Insemination?
If you have all the necessary tests carried out and you know the donor, then the risks are minimal.
However, you may have feelings of guilt towards your partner if you look upon it as an act of unfaithfulness. Therefore it is very important that you and your partner discuss the matter in-depth before you go ahead and that you both accept that it is merely a method of becoming pregnant.
If you don’t have tests, then you are taking a great risk. The donor could have a genetic disease or a chronic illness, which could put your pregnancy in danger, affect your new born baby, or the health of your child in the future.
You should also find out as much as you can about the donor before insemination takes place, if only to make you feel more at ease. Make sure when pick the place to have intercourse, your partner or a close friend know exactly where you are, tell someone when you arrive at the location and promise to contact them when you leave.