You’ve likely read the term “turkey baster method” more times than you can count. No. Just no. When looking for a home insemination kit (or assisted reproduction kit), you want to make sure you’re getting the best of the best. Here, we’re going to break down what you should really be looking for and… it doesn’t involve a bird.
Make Sure It’s Sterile
Imagine for a moment that you’re at the doctor’s office waiting to get a blood sample taken. The nurse attending to you goes to pick up a needle. You watch as he grabs an unpackaged, exposed needle that’s just sort of lying around.
How would you feel about having that needle jabbed into your vein? Not great, I’m guessing — and for good reason. When it comes to our health and the things that we put into our bodies, it’s important that proper protocol is followed. It needs to be sterile, whether it's a needle or anything else because, um, gross. Also–infections. Let’s avoid those if we can.
Home insemination tools are no different and making sure they’re sterile is a much bigger deal than you may realize. If you’re not a total science geek like me, it’s normal to overlook something like this.
It all has to do with the delicate balance of bacteria in the vagina. Like other parts of the body, the vagina has both good and bad bacteria living inside of it. The term given to the mini ecosystems of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live on and inside our bodies is “microbiome”. Recent research shows that when the vaginal microbiome is imbalanced, it can negatively impact fertility.
What this means in practical terms is that if an unsterile syringe is inserted into the vagina, new bacteria can be introduced that can disrupt the vaginal microbiome. That’s the last thing you’d want when you’re trying desperately to get pregnant!
So, having a sterile insemination kit seems like a no-brainer, right? But get this — before I developed PherDal, there were literally no sterile home insemination kits on the market. There were kits that appeared sterile, but there was no way to check how they’d been handled or packaged.
If you can’t verify whether the tools in a home insemination kit have been sterilized or not, DO.NOT.BUY.IT. A sterile kit should be the first item to check off on your list when it comes to choosing your home insemination kit.
Check for Sperm-Friendly Plastic
It’s no good if your tools are sterile but they’re not sperm-friendly. A foolproof home-insemination kit needs to have both of these qualities. If you opt for any old sterile syringe that’s been manufactured using any old plastic, then you’ll be right back at square one. You’ll be compromising your odds of conceiving yet again.
Not all plastics are created equal! Some plastics might damage sperm quality and affect sperm motility. This can make it harder for those poor little sperm to reach and fertilize an egg and can increase the risk of an unsafe pregnancy.
PherDal’s home insemination kit takes these fears completely off the table. Manufactured with IVF graded materials, the tools in PherDal’s kit do not have any adverse effects on sperm. PherDal is currently undergoing FDA approval and when it’s cleared, PherDal will be the first assisted reproduction kit available over the counter.
So, quick reminder…there are 2 things your home insemination kit absolutely must be — sterile and sperm-friendly.
Being User-Friendly Helps, Too
With the nitty-gritty of what to look for in your home insemination kit out the way, we can focus on the question of just how easy it is to use the kit.
A normal sterile syringe has a square edge and nozzle which most women may find intimidating, if not frightening. Normal syringes are also not really long enough to reach as close to the cervix as you’d want for intracervical insemination to be effective. This should come as no surprise since your typical syringe was not developed with home insemination in mind (and that’s why we don’t recommend the cringy turkey basting method!).
PherDal, on the other hand, was developed by a woman for women, with one purpose in mind: to help you become pregnant as safely, and comfortably as possible.
Every aspect of PherDal’s design speaks to this intention. Our syringe has a rounded tip for maximum comfort with vaginal insertion. It’s also long enough to get the sperm close to the cervix for successful fertilization. The plunger goes right to the end of the syringe so that no sperm is wasted. After all, when it comes to maximizing your chances of conception, every little drop counts (yes, we know how that sounds)!
Choose the best option for you
Here’s a quick recap of what matters most when it comes to choosing your home insemination kit:
It should be sterile.
It should be sperm-friendly.
It should be user-friendly.
Had it not been for my own struggle with infertility and my background in biology, I don’t think I could have designed a product that has had so much success in women with unexplained fertility.
Making infertility treatment affordable, accessible, and effective is something that’s very close to my heart. That’s why our PherDal kit includes 3 syringes and 3 collection jars. That’s 3 chances to get pregnant—more than any other insemination kit—at the price of just $49/a try.
When it comes to women’s health, we’re pro-choice. We believe that you should choose the option that feels best for you based on all of the available information. If you’re not sure about PherDal, or if you have any questions, reach out and we’ll answer you as best as we can.