By Cristina Mestre Ferrer BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 08/02/2015

At-home artificial insemination (AI) is a self-insemination that is vaginally performed. The main advantage is that you won’t have to visit any gynecological consultation or fertility clinic.

The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.

Who can use it?

With this technique, the sperm is released inside the vagina as it is done when engaging into sexual intercourse. It can be performed easily at home by just following a series of guidelines and using the appropriate kit.

At-home AI is a common choice among women who decide to become single moms, lesbian couples, and couples where the man has problems ejaculating inside the vagina due to erectile dysfunction (ED) or retrograde ejaculation. You will find the whole process step by step hereunder.

At-home AI kit

It’s considered to be a simple, inexpensive technique and the necessary materials to perform it can be easily purchased in pharmacies. The at-home artificial insemination kit includes the following materials:

  • Sterile from 2 to 5 ml syringe without needle; the ones including a cannula work better as they are larger.
  • Vinyl gloves.
  • Sample container.
  • Physiological serum, since it facilitates semen suction.

How is it performed?

Once all the necessary materials are ready, the following steps are then taken:

  • After we put gloves on, partner or donor semen is left in the container for this purpose.
  • In order to facilitate semen suction, some serum should be added to the semen in order to make it more watery. Serum should be at the same temperature as human body, i.e. about 36-37°C.
  • Then, the semen is sucked out with the syringe.
  • The recipient lies in the same position as in the gynecologist, that is, with her legs open.
  • We insert carefully the syringe into the vagina in order to gently empty the semen on the inside. This step should be carried out slowly in order not to be scratched. It will be easier with some help.
  • Once we have already finished, 2 ml serum should be sucked out with the syringe and then the operation will be repeated; in this way, sperm cells that remain stucked in the syringe can be used as well.
  • After the process, the woman should rest in the same position for half an hour and then she can continue her normal routine.

To increase the success rate, it is better to self-inseminate yourself in the middle of your menstrual cycle, that is to say, when you are ovulating.

At-home AI accuracy

At-home artificial insemination is not considered to be a medical technique because it requires no qualified professional. Moreover, it is performed in the private sphere and there are no studies that calculate the success rates of this assisted reproductive technology.

Its accuracy is similar to engaging into unsafe sexual intercourse and, surely, less effective because the sperm is transported and used after being ejaculated. If it is not correctly performed, sperm may deteriorate. That is why it is crucial to keep the sperm in optimal temperature conditions. When sperm stays out of a man’s body for more than three hours, it is no longer considered as viable.

If there are severe fertility problems, this procedure is not recommended, since treatments have made a good progress and women can now undergo ovarian hyperstimulation in clinics to increase the pregnancy rate. Furthermore, sperm is artificially prepared to facilitate its journey to the egg.

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Authors and contributors

 Cristina Mestre Ferrer
BSc, MSc
Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences, Genetics & Human Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV). Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the UV and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Embryologist at IVI Barcelona. More information
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    1. deborah79

      Last month I got pregnant thanks to an at-home artificial insemination 😀 I’m extremely happy now. My story is the following: my husband has some problems when it comes to ejaculate, so we extracted his semen through masturbation and quickly inserted it into my vagina with a syringe. I have to say that obviously I use an ovulation calculator and we did it on my fertile days.

      • raz

        Can my wife get pregnant after home insemination? Is her ovulation time working??? In this method, a syringe is directly passed through her vagina??