Hey hi, and good luck! Here's my thoughts on a few of your questions, and they're pretty detailed so sorry if I squick anyone:
1. I think women take Clomid to regulate their systems a bit and give themselves a better shot at getting knocked up first try, so it's not as time-consuming (the wait is a killer). If you know you're fertile, why mess with it at first?
2. You can totally do DIY insemination, but watch out who you tell you're doing it - it can be illegal in some places. Here's how my babe and I did it, and it worked. Have your donor do his business with a condom on in the next room. The woman who is getting pregnant should be in bed, hips up. The woman not getting pregnant is the go-between. Once the donor is done, have him very carefully remove the condom, and use a sterile oral syringe to pull up the contents and deposit them in the mom-to-be. Turkey basters don't work, the tip is too large. There is discussion about the mom-to-be having an orgasm, and if it contributes to helping move the sperm along, which does make sense, but for some women it's a difficult moment. Your call.
Hi! Welcome to the incredibly confusing world of ttc.
First, the Clomid question. I think that this happens for two reasons. One, most queer people choose to go with frozen unknown donors. This method is very expensive and usually done with intrauterine inseminations in a doctor's office. Frozen sperm doesn't live more than 24 hours in the body (where fresh lives two to seven days in the body) so the inseminations have to be perfectly timed. Going on Clomid gives you more control over over ovulation and increases the chances (through multiple eggs) of fertilization. When you are shelling out $500 to $1,000 per cycle in sperm and doctor's visits it makes sense to boost your chances. The second reason is that queer people tend to wait a little longer before being ready to try for kids. Fertility declines once you hit 30. Clomid and other treatments can sometimes make up for that decline, at a price (and I don't mean cost.) I also think part of it is that we are an instant gratification society. People hate to hear that normal healthy people can take up to 12 cycles to conceive. They want it now. A lot of people, including my doctor, thinks it is crazy that I've been trying for so long but have only tried three Clomid cycles, especially since I'm turning 35 in a few months. For me, DIY just feels right. I may change my mind and go more medicated but for now I'm still hoping it will happen in it's own time.
My experience, I've done it all. I started with frozen doing home inseminations (my partner is a nurse so we didn't need a doctor) with no drugs for six cycles. Didn't work. We found a known donor and did fresh inseminations at home. We had him jack off into a glass jar (glass is least reactive to the sperm) in the other room and then inseminated in our bedroom. After five tries I got pregnant but I miscarried. Then our donor got offered an amazing job out of the country so we lost him. I did two frozen sperm, Clomid cycles in a doctor's office. I hated every minute of it. Then we found a non-local known donor who uses a special kit to ship his sperm overnight to me. We've been doing that with no luck for a year, including one at home Clomid cycle. I've been trying for almost three years, by the way. Our current non-local donor is visiting next week so I get a fresh donation this cycle. As much as we love our current guy, we are still looking for a local known donor. The shipping process does lower the viability of the sperm, but not as much as the cryo process used on frozen sperm.
I have two bits of advice for anyone starting ttc. One, get these two books: "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler and "The Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy and Birth" by Stephanie Brill The first book was the only one that taught me how to properly track my cycles so that I was inseminating at the right time. The second book can be way crunchy but it has a lot of good information using a known donor, including the best list of what stds to test for that I've seen. Two, if your donor has not recently gotten some one knocked up, get a semen analysis! I've met so many people who tried for months with a known donor who turned out to have issues with their sperm. It usually only costs $200-$300 and can save months of heartache.
Feel free to contact me if you like. I've got way too much experience with this. Good luck!
ok thanks, i will look into getting those books and i will join fertilityfriend.com
I think that part of the reason so many people take clomid is a tendency to medicalize pregnancy and birth. I think another part is what people have said above about the costs of inseminations and living in a culture of instant gratification.
I may be the story you are looking for. I was strongly opposed to medicalizing pregnancy and birth. I did go to a clinic for fertility monitoring (covered under OHIP in Ontario) to learn when I ovulate. I also got myself throughly checked out in advance - if there were obvious problems with fertility I wanted to know before months of trying.I agree with the commenter above that The Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy and Birth by Stephanie Brill is totally helpful. It has great information on fertility monitoring, and great information about donour agreements, and yes, a great deal about feelings, and your partner's feelings, but it's also the most throughly helpful book out there.
I'm a transguy and I was not looking to take female hormones, and if I was not going to get pregnant without them, I would have pursued other routes to parenting.
Anyway, when it came to it, our donour met me at a hotel (in a city between his and mine). We did two inseminations, not quite 24 hours apart, when the ovulation predictor stick said I was ovulating. He came in a sample jar (provided by the fertility clinic) and I inseminated myself using an oral syringe. I did make sure i came both times, and then lay about for 20 minutes with my hips up - I figured that neither would hurt.
Anyway, yes, one try and we got knocked-up. I'm 35 weeks into my pregnancy at this point and getting ready to welcome a little one. At home, with fresh, no drugs is totally possible - heck it works for lots of straight people.