6 Steps to At-Home Insemination with Donor Sperm

By Cryos International

Are you starting the planning process to begin the family of your dreams? Choosing home insemination for your path to parenthood can give you the luxury of having more privacy, more flexibility, and intimacy, unlike other fertility procedures. This is a very common way people in the LGBTQ community have become parents and can potentially be a great option for you, too!

If you have reason to believe that you may have fertility issues, please contact a fertility specialist first to help you decide if at-home insemination with donor sperm is the best approach for you.

Step 1: Track Your Ovulation

Ovulation is the most important thing you need to know about your body before trying at-home insemination. Fortunately, there are many great methods available to track your ovulation. We recommend that you use more than one method to get a more accurate picture of your monthly ovulation. You can use ovulation testing kits, monitors, testing strips, and calendars to help you.

ovulation day marked on a monthly calendar

Learn More: Guide to Tracking Your Ovulation

Step 2: Finding the Right Time to Inseminate 

The most fertile time of your cycle is on average between day 11 and day 21, from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). Every woman’s body is different, so ovulation may occur on a different day each month and at different times during your cycle. Make sure to track your ovulation carefully! 

When using an Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK), you are looking to get a positive result for your LH surge. This is typically 36 hours prior to ovulation, but it can range anywhere between 24 – 48 hours. The days between your LH surge and ovulation are your most fertile time for home insemination with frozen sperm. For more information on LH surges, this blog post from Cryos explains it in detail here.

Your egg drops during ovulation and lives for only 24 hours. The day after ovulation, your chances of conception drop down to 0%, so be sure you understand the right timing for your body!   

Step 3: Choose Your Sperm Donor 

Choosing a sperm donor can be a fun and exciting time as you search for the perfect match to conceive your future child. Most sperm banks offer diverse donors from all walks of life which makes it easy for you to find the right fit. Cryos International Sperm and Egg Bank offers hundreds of donors with free access to their extended donor profiles. That includes free access to the donor’s family tree, medical history reports, photos, handwritten messages, and more! You can also search for donors based on their genetic background, blood type, and other traits that are important to you. Having free access to donor information is a great benefit and can certainly ease the stress when planning to create your dream family.

woman browsing the cryos donor sperm website

Most sperm banks, including Cryos, offer both Non-ID Release and ID Release donors to choose from. A Non-ID Release can never be contacted, and an ID Release donor can be contacted by your child when they turn 18 years old. Most sperm banks have donors sign away paternity rights, so you never have to worry about legal parental issues.

Learn more about the types of donors here.

Step 4: Deciding on Motility

Once you have chosen your sperm donor, the next step is to decide on the MOT level of sperm you will need. MOT stands for motility and is the amount of moving sperm in each straw which can range from MOT 5 to MOT 30+.

Here’s a tip from Cryos: buying two straws of MOT10 ICI or IUI-ready sperm for home insemination allows you the ability to space your inseminations apart so you can wrap it around your most fertile window. It is recommended to inseminate 12 hours apart for the best chance of getting pregnant. Find out more info here on why Cryos recommends buying two straws of MOT10 straws for home insemination.   

More information about motility can be found here.

Step 5: Ordering Your Sperm 

Once you have chosen your donor and the MOT level for your home insemination needs, you are ready to place your order.   

Time the shipping date so that your straws arrive before your ovulation. By understanding your most fertile time, you can line up the shipping date to match your ovulation day and store the sperm in the provided nitrogen tank until you are ready to use it. Remember to ship the empty tank back to the sperm bank as soon as possible!

Ask your sperm bank about the different shipping options for home insemination they offer and find out which method would be best for you. Some sperm banks offer two shipping options in order to ensure that you have a few days of flexibility when inseminating at home.

Here’s a tip from Cryos:  Your most fertile days will be the two days leading up to your ovulation and your ovulation day. The chances of pregnancy go down to 0% after your ovulation day and rise again during your next ovulation cycle. So make sure that your Home Insemination kit arrives before ovulation day

Step 6: Receiving Your Donor Sperm 

After you’ve purchased your selected donor, you should receive a tracking number. Use that number to track your shipment. Make sure an individual who is over 18 is at the destination to receive the shipment!

Check the content of the shipment and make sure it is undamaged. Most sperm banks that offer shipment for at-home insemination will include everything you need to complete home insemination. For example, when ordering donor sperm from Cryos International Sperm and Egg Bank, their home insemination kit includes:

  • The shipping container that keeps the sperm frozen
  • The sperm straw(s)
  • Needle-less syringe(s)
  • An adapter that fits into our straws specifically
  • Individually wrapped alcohol wipe(s)
  • A copy of your packing list and detailed instructions with photos

All that’s left now is for you to perform your home insemination! Good luck!

egg on a plate with sperm-shaped spoons perched on the plate

Create a Good Support System

Being able to talk about your feelings and emotions can make any stress easier to process. Support groups are a great option because you can talk to people that have had similar experiences and understand what you are going through. If you are in search of additional support on your journey to parenthood, consider joining the Facebook group called Family Dreams – Cryos USA.  

Contact Cryos

Do you have any questions? Cryos would be more than happy to assist you! You can contact Cryos and speak with one of their bilingual Client Service Representatives at (407) 203-1175 or email them at usa@cryosinternational.com. They also have a live online chat that you can access through their website here.