SPONSORED: As a lesbian couple, there a number of options available to you to have a baby. Here’s why artificial insemination at a clinic has benefits over doing it yourself at home
1. Access to quality sperm
Although there are plenty of sites offering access to sperm samples unless they are from a licensed clinic they are extremely unlikely to have been tested to ensure that they are safe to use.
Apart from STIs, there could be genetic conditions that can be inherited or active infections that can be transmitted.
In a clinic setting, such as through The London Sperm Bank, all donor sperm has been thoroughly tested. Not only to ensure sample are safe to use but also that they are of sufficient quality and quantity to have a decent chance of getting you pregnant.
If you like the idea of using a known donor, then you can bring them along to the clinic with you and we can put them through the same tests as we do our sperm donors to make sure there are no issues that might affect your chances of conceiving.
2. Trained experts and support
Getting pregnant can sometimes be trickier than you think – there is a fairy narrow window around ovulation when insemination has best chance of working.
In a fertility clinic sperm is deposited in your uterus in a process known as IUI (intrauterine insemination). This gives the sperm a good chance of meeting egg when it is released.
At home you will be placing the sperm up by the cervix and it will need to swim up into the uterus. A benefit of using a clinic is that a trained expert will be putting the sperm closer to the fallopian tubes, at the right time to give you the best chance of getting pregnant.
The sperm sample will be specially prepared to ensure that good swimmers are selected and to remove prostaglandins: the parts that can cause painful cramps.
In a fertility clinic setting you can be given medication to bring about ovulation. This can make it easier to know when to perform the insemination and is required for women who don’t ovulate regularly.
If you prefer, you can still use your own natural cycle, without added hormones, and test for ovulation using kits at home.
Additionally, should you find that there are any issues conceiving, trained staff will be able to talk you through your options. You will also receive counseling to help you think about issues that could arise and have will have plenty of support throughout the process.
3. Legal issues are taken care of
Outside of a licensed clinic, using a sperm donor does not mean that they have waived their parental rights and potentially could result in legal issues at a later date e.g. they can ask for visitation rights if they change their mind down the line.
Using a sperm donor in a fertility clinic guarantees that the donor has waived his parental rights and they will remain anonymous unless the child wishes to find out who they are at 18.
An added benefit is that if you conceive a child through a fertility clinic, as a lesbian couple you are entitled to both mothers being named on the birth certificate. This is not true if you decide to go down the home insemination route.