How to do a home IUI
DISCLAIMER: THESE INSTRUCTIONS ARE IN NO WAY MEANT TO REPLACE THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR NURSE MIDWIFE. THEY HAVE BEEN PUT ON PAPER AS A MEANS TO HELP THOSE WHO DON’T HAVE THE OPTION OF CONSULTING A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL BUT ARE NOT MEANT TO BE MEDICAL ADVISE. I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL NOR IS The IVP.
It is important to know whether your bank will ship to your house or not. Some will not but you can pick up the dewar from your physicians office if they will permit it. You can google sperm banks to find one but Northwest will ship to your house without a physician’s consent so they are quite popular for those doing home IUI. I used them for my first dd and was satisfied but I know of plenty of women who have had issues with them. I used Midwest this time around and although a physician consent was required, I have been rather pleased with them. Home IUI instructions Where to get supplies: I prefer Zavos catheters. You have to buy a box of 10 and at $7.50 a piece that adds up but the catheters are more stiff than the ones you can get from the banks and they go into the cervix so much easier. I highly recommend spending the money on them. Here is their link: http://zdlinc.com/iui_and_insemination.html
You can get speculums from just about anywhere but I really like the following midwifery supply company because you can get other supplies from them as well: http://www.1cascade.com/
Best timing for IUI with frozen donor sperm: There is so much controversy over when to time IUI with frozen donor sperm. Conservative estimates give a life of roughly 8 hours while optimistic estimates go as late as 72 hours. I tend to think that frozen sperm will live roughly 12 to 24 hours following thaw and in the uterus. Research has been done that shows the best timing for IUI is roughly 6 hours EITHER side of ovulation so you can IUI before or after O has occurred as long as it is done no later than 6 hours after ovulation. The egg begins to disintegrate roughly 12 hours after ovulation so you want to catch that egg before then as there is a higher likelihood of genetic abnormality if insem is done later than 12 hours post ovulation. Not everyone can feel themselves ovulate so you can time insem based on your first + OPK. Most women will ovulate roughly 24 to 36 hours after the first + OPK. OPKs should be done at 10:00 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. at a minimum. I know that is a lot of OPKs but when doing frozen donor the timing is crucial. First morning urine is not to be used as a basis for OPK for testing as it is not correct and can give a false positive thus causing one to poorly time their insem. One well timed IUI vial is all that is needed (I have gotten pg 4/5 tries with only one vial) so if you are doing just one vial then my suggestion would be to insem at roughly 28 to 30 hours unless you can feel yourself ovualate – then I would time it based on your actual ovulation. If you are doing more than one I think that 24 and 36 hours is the best timing.
The following are the instructions for home IUI: Let the vial stand for about 10 minutes on the dresser to begin thawing – while that is happening get your supplies ready. You will need a speculum, flashlight, the catheter along with a syringe and if you choose a couple of chairs to put your feet on and a towel for underneath your bum. We are super careful about sterility – I have had an IUI in my doctor’s office before I believe that our at home IUI was more sterile than the one in the office. Wash your hands then get two clean paper towels and set on the nightstand (which should also be clean). Open your catheter (do not remove it yet) and then open your syringe. Attach the catheter to your syringe and leave the catheter part in the plastic until ready to place sperm into it. Put these on the paper towels. Open a speculum package and place on the paper towel – also make sure your flashlight is a small one so that your dh/partner can put it in their mouth if necessary. I have also found that it makes it easier if I scooch to the corner of the bed and then put my feet in a couple of chairs. If you use the Zavos catheters then you can bend the tip of them to help condition the catheter. I have found it makes it easier to insert them if the tips are conditioned. Put in speculum (I do this myself as dh tends to pinch me – ouch!) I make dh use sterile gloves but it is not necessary. I hold the vial for another ten minutes to get it to room temperature – I think every bank is different in what they recommend for thawing instructions but 20 minutes is plenty of time. Hold the vial and have your dh/partner SLOWLY suck up the sperm into the catheter. You want every step of this process to be done slowly so as not to cause any problems with the sperm. Have your dh/partner insert the catheter slowly into the cervix (a picture of the cervix can be found at http://www.sisterzeus.com/cervob.htm ). You might feel some pressure at the top of your cervix – be sure to communicate with your dh how you are feeling and if you feel this pressure as it means he has reached the top. MY dh inserts the catheter about 4 cm or so since the cervix is roughly 4 cm long. Leave the catheter in the uterus for a minute or so to allow the uterus to calm down after insertion then slowly depress the syringe. This should be done very slowly.
Once all of the sperm is in the uterus leave the catheter in for another minute or so just to allow any residual on the tip to swim up then slowly pull the catheter out. There is no need to lay down for any length of time but I do. I layed there for about ~½ hour after the insem. I recommend having an orgasm after the insem is completed. I don’t know if it helps but it certainly doesn’t hurt. There is some evidence that it can help as it causes uterine contractions thus propelling the sperm even further into the tubes.