Buns in the Oven Part 6: What to Expect When You Are Inseminating
Updated: Aug 4
One of the questions that I had going into our medically-assisted babymaking adventure which I could not find on-line was what the actual insemination would be like. I figured it would not be a particularly romantic experience - especially since I do have any sort of white coat fetish. I spent three years of my life in a relationship with a woman in med school, and that pretty much killed any subconscious hot-for-doctor feelings I might have been harboring deep within my id. Three cycles in, I can now tell you that, much like homemade tomato gravy, insemination is a nuanced experience that varies subtly based on the person jizzing you up.
At my fertility clinic, you show up at your appointment time and sign in. At this point, the nurses start washing off your frozen sperm to get it ready for its journey into your uterus. This process takes about half an hour, so bring something to read while you wait. Finally, a nurse calls you in to an examination room. She (they are all women at my clinic) verifies your name, your date of birth, and your donor sperm number. She tells you something about your sperm that you don't understand ("Sperm count is 50 million and motility is 50%") You sign a paper verifying that you are, indeed, in this room to try to get pregnant and that you verified your donor number. They are very on top of making sure that you are getting the right sperm. Once you sign the paper, the nurse tells you to strip from the waist down and lie down on the examination chair. These are the typical parting words at the fertility clinic. On this special day, however, she leaves you with a, "Good luck!" Now you lie back and wait for the doctor.
When the doctor arrives, you get to check your donor sperm number again - this time by looking at the number taped to the actual vial of sperm. You will say to yourself, "Wait, I paid how much for that tiny vial?" This will happen each time you inseminate. The absurdity never really fades away.
My first insemination was with a man-doctor who entered the room and said, "Good morning, this is going to feel like a PAP smear."
Meow, am I right? Boyfriend knows all the right words to make this intimate moment the least sexy thing you have ever done. As I mentioned before, I wasn't expecting this experience to be particularly sensual, but the anti-sexy vortex that suddenly filled the room was a surprise.
So you inch your butt up to the edge of the examination chair and put your feet in the stirrups. The doctor uses a very thin, long syringe to suck up the sperm in the vial you've verified at least three times and sticks that syringe directly into your uterus. It really does not feel like much besides a prolonged cramp of medium-high intensity. Nothing you can't handle, my friend. Emptying the syringe takes about 10 seconds. Then the doctor removes the syringe, tells you to put your legs together and relax on your back for at least 10 minutes.
And that's it! After 10 minutes of sending positive vibes to your uterus you can go about you business - but now with the constant worry that you might be doing something to fuck with the sperm finding the egg. Yes, the bedside manners of the individual inseminating doctors varied from "This will feel like a PAP smear," to "You did beautifully!" but the general fear that I am somehow fucking this up never goes away.
So, if you have come here hoping to pull the shroud off the mystery of what actually happens on insemination day, rest assured that it's nothing to write home about. Unless your letters home are very boring. Then go for it.