If you’ve listened to her reproductive endocrinologist describe the insemination process to you, there’s a possibility you’re thinking, “That sounds an easy enough…couldn’t I do an IUI at home?” You’ve got sperm. You’ve acquired someplace to placed it (a.k.a. Your vagina). Carry out you really have to schedule a doctor’s appointment for this?

The answer, surprisingly, can be no—but only if you’re talking around artificial insemination, not its more complicated cousin, intrauterine insemination (IUI), which certainly has to be done by a medical professional. Here’s just how the two actions size increase in compare (and how to understand which one is best for you).

Artificial insemination vs. IUI: the basics

The quick version: synthetic insemination refers to the procedure of inserting ejaculate into the vagina, close come the cervix, making use of a needleless syringe (i.e. The “turkey baster” method…more on the later!). It’s occasionally referred to together intracervical insemination (ICI). IUI, top top the other hand, requires a speculum and the placement of sperm straight into the uterine cavity instead of the quality canal.

They both can obtain you pregnant, obvs. But here’s a couple of other methods they’re similar:

No sex is required, which way that both ICI and IUI work also for heterosexual couples as very same sex (or solitary women, or gay men working v a surrogate, or whatever). Pretty lot anytime conception without intercourse is the goal, either procedure can be provided if you’ve obtained sperm and also eggs.

Now here’s exactly how they’re different:


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IUI is best performed in a doctor’s office, due to the fact that really, they understand reproductive anatomy best…and let’s it is in honest, friend can much better avoid infection if you’re in a sterile environment. According to Dr. Mark Trolice, reproductive endocrinologist at Fertility CARE: The IVF Center, you’ll also need someone trained in speculum use. If you’ve in which method forgotten (how can you?) a speculum is that long pointy thing your OB breaks out during your pelvic exams to acquire a an excellent look roughly in her vagina. You’re invading an body organ with that thing, people, and also you yes, really don’t desire to mess around. ICI, on the other hand, is reasonably user-friendly even for novices. Unwashed vs. To wash semen. If friend haven’t been paying close attention for this reason far, top up because this is important: never put an unwashed sample the sperm straight into your uterine cavity (seriously, like ever). The seminal fluid that bathes sperm consists of something dubbed prostaglandins, which—if placed inside the uterine cavity—can reason a severe reaction in the kind of painful uterine contractions, advises Dr. Trolice. This seminal liquid is washed away in preparation for one in-office IUI, for this reason it’s not an issue there. And also it’s entirely fine to put unwashed semen right into your vagina throughout an ICI (since that’s usually what happens throughout sex). Yet if you injected unwashed semen right into your uterus throughout an at-home IUI, it would certainly be very, an extremely bad. To trust us.

Okay…but tell me how at-home insemination works?

Remember how we claimed it to be pretty foolproof (the process, not necessarily the “getting pregnant” part)? us weren’t lying. Girlfriend grab part semen—from your partner or sperm donor—and a home insemination kit, i m sorry usually contains ovulation predictor materials and that turkey baster we talked about before.

Okay, it’s no actually a turkey baster, however a plastic syringe and plunger that functions the same means as one. Also, FYI: frozen sperm will have be thawed briefly prior to use, but once it’s in ~ room temperature (or if you’re beginning with freshly ejaculated sperm), make sure to usage it within 30 minutes.

Once you have actually your syringe filled with semen, this is what friend do:

Lie down on her back.Insert the syringe into your vagina, pushing gently until it stops and aiming it towards your cervix.Empty the syringe, then take it out. Chill the end for 15 to 30 minutes. If you’ve excellent ICI, you’ll want to continue to be horizontal for a little to make sure the sperm obtain where they have to go. (Note the this isn’t essential for IUI: a 2016 examine presented to the European society of human Reproduction and also Embryology proved no far-ranging difference in conception rates between women that lied under for 15 minutes after IUI vs. Women that didn’t.)

That’s it! See? straightforward peasy.

Which one is much more likely to acquire me pregnant?

At-home insemination is more convenient and also private, plus friend don’t have to involve your insurance company and the expense (for the kit) is minimal. Yet according come Dr. Trolice, if you’re considering the success prices of the 2 procedures, you’ll definitely want come stick through in-office IUI.

Essentially, wash sperm provided for one in-office IUI areas the best, more quickly sperm directly into the uterus—much farther increase than traditional vaginal insemination. Overall, the American pregnant Association cases success prices for IUI can be together high together 20%, yet take this v a serial of salt: this percentage totally depends ~ above why you’re act IUI in the an initial place, and also the protocol that meds leading as much as the procedure.

Spell it out for me one much more time.

Theoretically, if friend personally know a midwife (or part other medical practitioner) that has access to a speculum and also you’ve purchase pre-washed sperm indigenous a sperm bank, climate you could perform an IUI in her living room—but that’s a lot of of conditions to meet, for this reason it’s honestly simply not precious the risk. If you’re okay with the lower odds the pregnancy, a level ol’ “turkey baster” ICI is method easier and less dangerous to perform at home.

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Leaving the IUIs to the professionals, please.