Aug 8, 2022 | By: Kacie Shrock, RN, BSN
An Intravaginal Insemination (IVI), often referred to as an ‘at home insemination’ is a method of achieving pregnancy without traditional intercourse, using sperm either from your partner or from a sperm donor. During an IVI, the sperm are placed at the top of the vagina near the cervix using a needleless syringe or small catheter.
What is the differences between a IUI and a IVI?
The key difference between IVI (intravaginal) and an IUI (intrauterine) is where the sperm are placed. With an IUI, washed sperm are placed directly in the uterus, a procedure performed by a fertility specialist, compared to an IVI where the sperm are placed in the vagina, up against the cervix, and can be done at home without professional fertility intervention.
Where to start the journey?
If you’re interested in pursuing an at-home insemination, your first step should be scheduling an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your pregnancy journey. It is recommended that you consult with a medical professional prior to conceiving to have any prenatal or general wellness testing completed. This includes your yearly well woman exam, breast exam, and pap smear as well as any other testing your provider may recommend based on your individual needs. This is also the perfect time to discuss any detailed medical questions regarding your desire to get pregnant. Your doctor can help create a custom plan just for you which will likely include starting a high quality prenatal vitamin and the recommendation to begin ovulation testing.
After scheduling an appointment with your provider, the next step is to start tracking your cycles and learning your ovulatory pattern as timing is key!
When doing an at home insemination, you want to ensure the sperm are in the right place at the right time, so learning how to track your cycles is very important.
Once you’re ready to attempt your first cycle of an at home insemination, you’ll want to purchase a reputable home insemination kit. Home insemination kits are needed to help get the sperm safely into the upper vagina. Using clean and safe tools for an at home insemination is essential in this process to avoid injury or infection.
If you are using donor sperm, this is the time to choose donor sperm, which are available at various sperm banks. Some sperm banks provide everything you need so make sure you look into this before you purchase an additional kit.
Does menstrual cycle tracking help with timing insemination?
A week before your predicted ovulation, if using a known donor, be sure to notify your partner of your upcoming ovulation, or order sperm from a sperm bank. You will also want to make sure you have the insemination kit and any other supplies needed to successfully complete the home insemination.
Since fresh sperm can live up to 5 days, you can inseminate once you see a positive LH test as ovulation typically occurs within 24-36 hours of your peak. If you’re able to inseminate twice, it is recommended to try about 12-24 hours apart as the egg can survive for about 12-24 hours once it is released. Read this blog for more information about ovulation calculation methods.
Things to Do on Insemination Day
Once peak day has arrived and you’re ready to inseminate, make sure to follow the directions from either the sperm bank or the insemination kit very closely. Be sure to lie down in a comfortable position and wash your hands prior to inseminating to reduce the risk of infection.
3 Tips For a Home Insemination
- Timing is key! Track your cycles using LH testing kits and BBT. Ovulation only happens once per cycle for about 12-24 hours so it is very important that insemination occurs at the optimal time during your fertile window. You can use ovulation testing kits to track your Luteinizing Hormone levels in the Premom app, to help you identify your fertile window and high fertility days.
- Eat for fertility! Focusing on eating whole foods including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains is a great way to support your fertility. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids – especially water. Also, make sure you are taking a good quality prenatal vitamin.
- Create a relaxing environment. The great thing about doing a home insemination is that you will be in the comfort of your own home! An insemination may cause a little nervousness or anxiety, which is completely normal. Setting up a relaxing environment may be helpful to calm the nerves for both you and your partner. Play some of your favorite soothing music and dim the lights so you are comfortable while lying down for 10-15 minutes following insemination.
In need of ovulation tests? Premom quantitative ovulation test strips and Easy@home ovulation predictor kits work best with the app. They have trusted quality and are super easy to use! Download the free Premom app to get started! If you want to discuss fertility options with an expert before starting your home insemination, you can schedule a virtual consultation through the Premom app with any of our premom providers to discuss your options.
Nurse Kacie is a registered nurse who specializes in fertility and reproductive health. She has always had a passion for women's health and she supports women and couples virtually across the world while on their journey to their dream families!Resources: