Navigating your treatment with donor sperm
When planning your home insemination with a donor, it can be tricky to navigate the logistics around ovulation and getting the semen sample. Here are a few tips to help:
Communicate with your donor
If you ovulate regularly, be sure to let your donor know approximately when in the month you are likely to ovulate, so that they can be prepared to provide a semen sample. Let them know when you’re starting testing for ovulation and start to plan around abstinence and availability.
Abstinence for the semen sample
The donor should refrain from sexual activity (including intercourse and masturbation) for 2–7 days before producing a sample for the Béa Applicator. This is based on recommendations from the WHO guidelines, which show that abstinence for a shorter or longer period than 2–7 days can result in lower semen quality. This will ensure the best possible semen sample on the day of using the Béa Applicator.
Plan for how to collect or receive the sample
It’s always best to have an agreement in place with your donor around how they are providing the sample. Will they come to your home and produce a sample (ejaculate)? Will they produce a sample at their home and you collect it? Does your donor have the semen container in which to produce the sample? Discussing this in advance will avoid extra stress around ovulation.
Transporting the sample
Semen samples should ideally be kept between room temperature and body temperature which is 20℃–37℃. When transporting the sample, you may want to keep the semen container insulated (by wrapping the container in a small towel) and always keep the container upright to avoid the sample getting stuck in the lid or leaking out.
When using the kit, you’re instructed to wait for 30 minutes to let the semen sample liquefy at room temperature – this makes it easier to pour it into the Applicator. If you’re making plans around transportation of the sample, sperm generally has a good survival rate in semen for 2 hours. Try not to exceed 4 hours between the time of ejaculation and using it in the Béa Applicator.
- Do not try to freeze the sperm at home
- Do not try to heat up the sperm
- If lubricant is being used to produce the sample, ensure it’s sperm-friendly