Monday, September 24, 2007

Insemination and Donor Semen 101

Most of you reading this blog are probably my friends and straight. So the entire process of insemination may be completely foreign for you. Lets start with the basics. As a lesbian couple, we went with the option of anonymous donor semen from a sperm bank located in California. There are a few banks to choose from and some people also go the method of a "known donor" meaning a man is willing to provide them with fresh semen.

Then there is ordering. I wanted to order an ICI sample and an IUI sample. ICI (intracervically) is as is, not "washed". When sperm travels through your bits, it is "washed" on its own, taking away all the gross stuff (not a medical term) and leaving only the sperm to swim to the egg. The ICI sample can be inserted vaginally or into your cervix (if you can find it). An IUI sample on the other hand is "washed" and is safe to insert into or as close as you can get to the uterus. This is usually done by a medical professional though some have tried it on their own...I'm not naming names ;-)

Needless to say, after you go through ordering which includes calling with your customer number and mother's maiden name, you give the donor number, height, weight, hair color, eye color, race and blood type. The shipment is then shipped via FedEx.

The pricing breaks down into
ICI Vial $340
IUI Vial $420
Shippping $220 (we paid extra for Saturday deliver, shipping is normally $195)

It arrives in a brown box - that usually looks like this is the 100th time it's been used. At our house, you'll probably find a cat on it.
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In it, you'll find a lovely cryotank
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wow, I actually have cleavage in this pic...and I'm not pulling a Michael Jackson look, the glove is because the stuff is FREEZING (like burn your hand freezing).

And what's inside that cryotank? Well, aside from liquid nitrogen (to keep it frozen), spermies!
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yup, that's what a frozen vial of sperm looks like. you expected more? my first time, I did too.

Since we are doing both an ICI and IUI, the ICI is done first since the sperm not only lives longer but is traveling a further distant. The IUI needs to be done as close as possible to ovulation since you're putting it close to the eggies and it can only live up to 24 hours due to it being washed or whatever.

Anywho, Our home insem is over, as usual it turned into National Lampooon's Insemination. I'm glad I'm having a professional one tomorrow a.m. and hopefully the ultrasound will show good things.


Trace said...

WOW, we had our sperm sent directly to the fertility lab. It is sort of anticlimatic to see how it comes.

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