After finding out that I had a genetic mutation called MTHFR (C677T variant) and having two miscarriages after my first son was born, it has been a tough road to getting and staying pregnant.
Recently I had a surgery to remove a Cyst that was located on my Labia Majora (at the entrance to my vagina) and I was instructed NOT to have intercourse for at least 4 weeks. To someone trying to conceive, even a month of having to wait can be devastating. Leave it to me to become ingenuous and figure out a way to overcome the inability to have sex for one to two cycles... Here is Sandi's way to conception... SELF ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION (Vaginal). Sorry, sounds tacky but the reality is - doing this at home got me pregnant the first try, during a time where normal intercourse was not possible.
The reason I am posting this is because like many women out there, at times I was willing to try just about anything in order to conceive. And upon trying this for the first time - IT WORKED!!! I would like to add though, that my mindset was "this wont likely work, but I am up to try anything"... and I literally figured that I was just passing time this month but making sure I didn't have any expectations. Maybe the reason it worked was partly because I relaxed in my head with absolutely NO expectations and also because of the AI itself. I have no idea but the statistics tell us that SELF AI has no better conception rates then regular intercourse, but the data could be inaccurate simply because women who have done this don't really talk about it. I mean here I am with a confirmed pregnancy and I am not part of any studies!
So for everyone who ever thought they would be open to trying anything... Here is SELF ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION.
INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DO AN IN HOME SELF ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION
ITEMS YOU WILL NEED:
- A container (preferably sterile - or that can be sterilized)
We had some left over sterile urine containers from the doctors office from when I was testing to make sure I didn't have a bladder infection.
- An empty medical syringe (WITHOUT A NEEDLE) or Oral Medication Syringe (Either one can be purchased from a drug store or even obtained from an Infant Motrin package which is where I obtained mine...) The regular syringe holds more fluids, the Motrin oral syringe holds only 2ml.
IF USING the oral syringe - you may want to attach extra length of tubing called pipette to increase the length since the oral syringe is shorter then a regular syringe. This is what I used and found attaching the pipette allowed me to reach the cervix.
- Clear narrow hose called pipette (which is the medical tubing used for sitz baths) or even be creative and use fish tank filter air hose - which is the clear plastic flexible tubing that connects small exterior fish tank filters air supply to the actual filter.
Attach the clear pipette/tubing to the syringe (clear narrow hosing that fit perfectly over the end of the syringe) which made the length of the syringe and pipette total around 8 inches. (The point here is to make the syringe as long as a "Penis" would be. Keep in mind, the average length of a penis (according to medical literature) is 4 inches - so as long as your syringe is 4" in length, it will be sufficient. I however wanted 8" just to make extra sure the sperm didn't have to work hard to get to up to and past the cervix.
All equipment was sterilized before hand and dry (important). (To sterilize your equipment: Bring water to a boil (or use kettle) then pour boiling water into a container. Place container, syringe and pipette into water. (Pipette may be thin and not hold up well in hot water too long - so only submerse pipette for about 2 minutes.) If you want to be extra sterilized, you can opt to wash the items with Anti Bacterial Soap if you don't have enough time to ensure the equipment will air dry in time for when you require it. After items are sterilized, I wrapped them all in paper towel and stored then in a sealed in a zip-lock baggy until needed. (This does kind of defeat the term of "actual sterilization" but since you wont have a place to store them in to keep them sterile, a clean zip-lock plastic bag would be your best bet to keep items clean until your use).
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE READY:
IMPORTANT FACT: SPERM MUST BE USED IMMEDIATELY AFTER EJACULATION.
Have your partner/hubby ejaculate into the container (DONE TOGETHER TO PRESERVE INTIMACY). Before attempting to suck up the sperm, ensure that you draw back the plunger on the syringe and push all the air out then submerse the syringe into the container of sperm and draw up the contents until the plunger can't go any further. Keep the syringe submersed as to ensure no air pockets are taken in.
Now since the syringe can only hold 2ml (and not the complete length of the syringe and tubing if you opted to add pipette) you might have to perform the action of inseminating twice to use up the remaining sperm if desired. This should be done fairly quickly since sperm start dyeing within seconds of exposure to air and lower the 96 degrees Fahrenheit.
With tubing full of sperm contents (if using pipette the syringe itself will be empty but the pipette will be full) insert pipette into vagina, carefully not too deep (as to ensure you do not hurt or damage cervix) but get close enough that the sperm can access the cervix opening without too much trouble. Also, plunge syringe slowly so that there is no spray effect against the cervix which would shoot the sperm farther away then you want it. Slowly so no back spray is key.
Withdraw the empty syringe slowly also. Very important. Keep hips as elevated as possible. If second insemination is needed (due to left over sperm) note - you do not have to use it all, (but I figured every bit counts) make sure you don't change your position to loose contents within you at the same time. Remain on your back throughout the entire insemination.
This can be done by yourself, but I felt it was important to have your spouse or partner help. If you are comfortable inserting by yourself, then that is fine too. A flashlight is helpful in case your partner can't see clearly your vaginal opening.
Also important to note, you are NOT attempting an Inter-uterine Insemination. All that you are doing is an Artificial Vaginal insemination. No different then having sex, (the odds are the same as a normal intercourse cycle) but if you think about it, you have more control and better positioning of the sperm as opposed to a penile ejaculation within the vaginal canal where thrusting can cause leakage and also make sperm have to travel farther if not ejaculated directly near the cervix. With AI, you allow the sperm to be deposited in the most desirable location just outside of the cervix opening.
I think I should write a book about this! Please forgive my really broken up sort of explanation, I wanted to get the gist of it out right away). But honestly, I learned all of how to do it from a few really neat websites. I can't take credit for the process, just the ingenuity to do it and use products I already had as opposed to ordering any sort of kit online.
I hope this helps! I am attaching the site I used and I found their instructions very helpful... obviously it worked!!!
Read this here: http://www.fertilityplus.org/faq/homeinsem.html#syringe
Either way, so long as you pretty well make sure that you use the sperm right away, I think that is key. Do not move or get up for at least 20 minutes, (I did this before bed and remained on my back throughout the night until morning). Normal Inter-uterine Insemination at the doctors office dictates that sperm only need 10 minutes to travel from the Uterus to the Ovaries. So, if you must get up to use the washroom or anything, after 20 minutes is perfectly fine. Studies show that after 20 mintues there is no difference staying horizontal then vertical. I believe, the longer you can remain lying down with your pelvis raised with a pillow if possible, the better.
If you have any other questions, please ask! I am not shy.
Please do let me know if this was helpful!
Sandi - ONE THING THOUGH - I am no expert and I don't claim that any thing you do here is medically endorsed. I did however speak to my OB/GYN about it after the fact, and she was okay with the whole procedure. Many women can't have intercourse due to medical reasons. Some men have sperm that is considered lazy and by the time they are ejaculated into the vaginal canal and swim up to the cervix they are too tired to go any further to get to the ovaries. So, it makes sense that this AI can help to be more effective.
It is very important to do AI 2 days before Ovulation (if you can figure out by using OPK (ovulation predictor kits), the Day before and the day of. These are the best times for conception. It is a misnomer to think that the best time is the day of ovulation. The egg is often only viable for 12 hours and once ovulation occurs if the sperm are not waiting in place for the egg to be released, you may miss your prime opportunity. I suggest also doing it the day of Ovulation and day after for maximum benefit. You can take a look at my Ovulation chart here to see the 4 days that we did it - (I noted them on my chart as IUI even though I didn't have IUI or Inter-uterine insemination)
Sandi's Ovulation Chart: http://www.medhelp.org/user_trackers/show/190661?personal_page_id=1186630
My cycle began on 19th September.
If anyone would like more info, do not hesitate to PM me anytime! I would never have believed it would work, but I also figured I had nothing to lose!
In addition to anything I have mentioned, please keep in mind, that while I or others may have extensive knowledge in many areas, you should always seek professional medical advice from your own physician, as it pertains to medical conditions or concerns.
Good luck, and if you have any other questions that I can help you with, please feel free to message me directly.
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