The same friend that recommended Embryo Adoption, suggested that I connect with a LGBQT Families group on Facebook to ask my questions about Aritificial Insemination, because many of the couples on there had used this method with high success.
I did connect with the group and asked my question, 6 people in total responded with information and asked me to PM them for more information. So I did.
The wonderful ladies I connected with were super helpful, giving me tips and tricks on what to look for, what to avoid – many things I’d worked out in the few short weeks I’d been a part of this “community” – as well as advice on the “how”.
Many of them recommended the site that I had found invasive and this was interesting to me.
One woman suggested we Skype rather than message because that way she could tell me about her experience and I could ask my questions immediately as I thought of them.
This made me anxious to be honest because I’m more comfortable behind my keyboard than I am in person – my brain doesn’t function as well in person as it does when my fingers are active across the keyboard.
So we booked for that Sunday and I cancelled, then rebooked for the following day and she had to cancel, then we tried again the following day and finally connected.
I was so, so, so, so glad we did. She was so nice! And so easy to talk to.
She is a nurse by trade so she also had medical knowledge of the insemination and of some procedures available and things I just had not thought about.
I’m so grateful we talked, and I hope we keep in touch.
One thing she told me was that she had also looked at the donor sites I’m looking at and they had picked one of the donor’s I had shortlisted as their donor!
She even met him for coffee to talk about it, and then a friend of theirs stepped up to say he would like to donate. So they used the friend instead.
However, she had nothing but good things to say about this donor, and told me he was organised, sensitive, considerate, real, not pushy or creepy, and had his ducks in a row. He gets tested every 6 months for STD’s even though he is in a committed loving monogamous relationship, and has his sperm count tested every 6 months also.
He brought all of his medicals along to the meeting, two forms of ID, and also brings a draft contract for the potential recipient to take home, peruse and sign protecting both parties. He was also super knowledgeable about the process and gave her tips on what to do next when she was just learning.
So with that high of a recommendation and all the boxes I was worried about being checked, I was now thinking I might meet up with him and see whether we are a match for this process.
She also told me these things that were super helpful and again, I’m so grateful I spoke with her:
For sperm collection:
- Glass is best, and the ideal capture “cup” is a baby food jar (ironic no?)
- Glass must be clean and dry but does not need to be “sterilised”
- Light is not good for sperm so cover as soon as captured.
- Air also not great, so the smaller the jar the better (so long as there is the capture ability still)
- Metal is a no-no, sperm can’t live in metal
- Water also a no-no, must be dry.
She told me that it takes the semen about 15-30 minutes in the glass jar to liquefy. And that the glass jar should be held against the body at body temp while that happens. Then it can be sucked up in the syringe to be inserted.
She agreed that the Instead SoftCup is a good idea.
For best results she suggested doing three rounds during the ovulation time of the month, so one insertion two days before anticipated ovulation, the day of ovulation, and two days after the believed ovulation date. For best “saturation” (ew!).
The syringe I can buy at a pharmacy, it is a regular medicinal syringe with no needle. She suggested 5ml, or slightly larger if there was one, but usually the next size is 10. 10 is too much she felt. Usually there was between 3-6ml of semen, so 5 should do it nicely even if the dregs have to be inserted twice… again (ew! I’m totally squeamish about inserting anyone’s semen into my body! But I get that this is the process and I’m “warming” to it!).
She recommended some vitamins she took for one month prior, the month of, and one month after.
She also had acupuncture during the week of conception specifically for conception. She’s not sure if it worked but it can’t hurt she felt!
From her nursing and research she told me that fresh is best and gave me these stats:
- Natural insemination (man & woman together) is about 15% success rate
- Artificial insemination with fresh sperm (cup & syringe) is about 12% success rate
- AI from frozen sperm either at home or in a clinic is 8% success rate
So Natural is best, but cup and syringe is a higher success rate than a clinic, because the clinic uses frozen sperm not fresh. Makes sense, you’d be a bit sluggish if you were frozen then asked to make a sprint right?
On her advice, I picked up a book from the library called “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” which she had said was so much information but had all the answers to any question you could imagine.
And woah… she was right! Things I sure didn’t know about my reproductive area, or a man’s… Some of the charting for plotting periods and ovulation are lost on me but I still got some good new information!
We talked for a good 30 minutes on Skype and then had technical difficulties, so I gave her my number and we continued by phone for another 20 or so minutes.
When I asked where the donation would take place had she used a donor she didn’t know well, she told me that she did talk with the abovementioned donor about that.
He told her that he would come to her home, or they could meet in a hotel, or one woman he had assisted met him in a…. [pause for effect] …STARBUCKS!
Yep, that’s right folks, one of the people he had donated to insisted that they meet at a Starbucks. She waited while he used the Starbucks bathroom to deposit his goods in the jar she provided. Then he handed her the jar with his sample, she left, and he bought himself a coffee! LOL.
Who will be checking for men carrying baby food jars out of the Starbucks bathrooms from this point forward??!
That is some control of his though, to go into a men’s public washroom and be able to deposit the goods, without worrying about some guy banging on the door shouting, “hurry up man, people gotta go!”
On that hilarious note, we signed off our call and I sat looking at the pages of notes I’d taken thinking… “Am I really going to do this?”
When I think of the end result I think “yes, I am.” and I’m happy about it, I look forward to the baby and the child that grows from it. When I think about the actual pregnancy and the birth (gah!), I think “Why?! Let’s wait to adopt!”
Not much for uncomfortable situations and/or pain! Just want to get to the good stuff!
I’ll sit with this information, read more of the book I borrowed, research some more and then contact this donor. I think with the information I have received through this conversation, and the slim pickings out there, I’m feeling good about him as ‘the one’…
Warm smiles and Love,