Deciding to start a family is an exciting time in your life. We often head into the journey of trying to conceive, expecting to see that positive pregnancy test within a few months.
Unfortunately, for many women, the pathway to conception is nothing short of a roller coaster. An exhausting ride that takes you through the emotional high and anticipation in the second two weeks of your cycle, followed by the disappointment and feelings of failure as your period arrives and you come to terms with another unsuccessful month.
And as if that wasn't hard enough, women struggling with conception are likely to suffer in silence instead of reaching out for support and assistance.
But there is support, and you have the power to take your fertility into your own hands. At-home insemination kits, when used correctly, can increase your chances of conception and reduce the agonizing helplessness experienced when riding the fertility rollercoaster.
Here, we break down the common mistakes made when using at-home insemination kits so you can give yourself the best chance of success.
1. Cramping Means You've Gone Too Far
The benefit of intracervical insemination (ICI) is that it delivers the sperm directly to the entrance of the cervix, bypassing the vaginal canal. However, when using the syringe in at-home insemination kits, you should never feel pain or go into the cervix. Ever.
Think of the cramping you feel when you get a pap smear. That cramping is your cervix contracting because it's a muscle. So, if you feel a similar sensation or pain, you've gone too far.
The patented sterile syringe in the PherDal kit is uniquely designed specifically for home insemination. Round, smooth, and perfectly curved with a light "point" in the middle, the PherDal syringe can comfortably approach the opening of the cervix without unnecessary pain.
2. Too Shallow Likely Won't Get the Job Done
Intravaginal insemination (IVI) is the simplest form of insemination, involving the placement of sperm into the vaginal canal. IVI doesn't bypass the microbiome like ICI and IUI. Success rates for IVI are less than ICI or intrauterine insemination (IUI) because ICI and IUI give sperm a head start on their race to the egg. You want that sperm delivered as close to the cervix as possible for the best chance of conception.
So, when using at-home insemination kits, you don't want the syringe to be too shallow (like in IVI). There is no polite way of saying this, but you need to get up there!
As previously mentioned, you should not be feeling any pain, but you should feel… something.
3. Avoid Lubrication…Of Any Kind
Vaginal lubricants can be toxic to sperm, with one study showing reduced sperm motility by 49%. We need those guys to be strong swimmers, so this is a deal breaker. Moreover, adding lubrication of any kind can disrupt the sterile environment we are trying to create for insemination. Even a small bacterial disturbance can interfere with your microbiome and impact your chances of conception success.
So, when it comes to at-home insemination, sterility is key, and lubricants are not welcome.
4. Don't Open the Syringe Until You're Ready to Use It
The syringe for home insemination must be sterile!
Please don't open the syringe before you're ready to use it, don't lay it down anywhere, and don't touch the sides of it.
Think back to your school days, the joy of playing with glitter, and how it sticks to absolutely everything. When you are ready to complete the insemination process, imagine everything is covered in glitter – the bed, the wrapper, and everything outside the syringe wrapper. Basically, there is glitter everywhere! Now try not to get "the glitter" on the syringe.
As you may have gathered, "the glitter" represents bacteria because bacteria are literally everywhere. The bacteria in your vagina form a delicate microbiome, and when a foreign bacterium is introduced, it can disrupt the healthy balance and impact your health and fertility.
Research has shown that certain bacteria can lead to immune activation and inflammation of the vaginal mucosa, which results in a hostile environment for seminal fluid. In addition, bacteria that enter the vagina and cervix can cause pelvic inflammatory disease that may damage your reproductive organs and cause infertility.
5. Don't Waste Any Semen
Every drop of semen is precious. So if there is more sperm sample than what fits in the syringe, insert the first full syringe, and then get the remaining sample in the syringe and insert it straight away. Just remember, don't set the syringe down anywhere in between insertions.
As always, sterility is paramount.
Pro Tip: Look for an at home insemination kit, like PherDal’s, with a rounded bottom on the jar so that you don't waste a single drop.
6. Do Nothing Afterward
After you have completed the insemination process, you will want to lie down and not get up for as long as possible. For this reason, we recommend doing the insemination before you go to sleep. Make sure you pee beforehand and get really comfortable. Don't attempt to clean yourself up; just lay back and relax.
This might sound strange, but before you lay down to start the insemination, organize something for afterward that will make you laugh – like a full belly laugh. The idea that laughter is therapeutic is pretty well accepted. However, you might be surprised that a research study has revealed that women who were exposed to a comical situation after insemination had over a 15% increased pregnancy rate.
So, get your partner to do a dance, watch a Netflix comedy special, or call a friend that makes you laugh and get all those feel-good hormones pumping.
Give Yourself The Best Chance
I've been there, in the depths of helplessness, and my experience drove me to create PherDal because every person deserves an accessible and affordable fertility option backed by science, not fear.
At-home insemination kits are not made equally. You need a quality kit with equipment uniquely designed for home insemination to give yourself the best chance of a successful conception. The PherDal kit is the only sterile at-home fertility option available on the market, combining the sterile environment of the fertility clinic with the at-home capabilities of artificial insemination.
We want to empower women on their fertility journey and give them the support they need. No one should suffer through fertility challenges alone. If you have any questions, reach out to us, and we will be more than happy to support you in any way we can.