Article medically reviewed by Dr. Paul Magarelli, MD PhD, Board Certified REI specialist with CNY Fertility.
One question I get asked a lot is … so how do you actually get pregnant with a syringe at home? How does that even physically work? What do you do? Some people call it the turkey baster method, some call it artificial or self insemination, we call it making a Mosie baby. Whatever you call it...technically it’s vaginal insemination known as intracervical insemination (ICI) or intravaginal insemination (IVI).
So what will you need to inseminate using this method. I’ll elaborate on each of these in a moment but for now you’ll need…
- A healthy sperm specimen
- Collection cup
- A syringe
- A bed
- And about 30 minutes
Ok, so, Number one and number two really go hand in hand. A healthy sperm specimen can be obtained from your partner, from a sperm bank or from anyone willing to give it to you- the key is that the sperm is healthy and you’re all agreed upon legally on the rights of the child. If you’re not sure about the sperm, consider finding a test online, they’re easy to use at home, and will give you peace of mind before trying to conceive.
As for the collection cup, size matters. Something too large will make absorption into the syringe more difficult than it needs to be, vice versa something too small will make the collection into the cup more difficult than it needs to be.
Ideally you want something that has a fairly wide opening, making it an easy target for the donor, but that is also not too deep to ensure absorption into the syringe goes smoothly. Something between 1.5 inches and 3 inches wide and 1 to 2 inches deep would work well.
This is the Mosie Kit’s collection cup, I like it because it fits both of those criteria, and it also comes with a lid in case the specimen needs to travel. Side note - if you do need to transport your sperm sample, ideally that specimen should be inside its final destination (aka the vagina!) within an hour.
Like the specimen cup, size also matters with the syringe. Usually something around 5cc’s is where you want to be. Anything larger may result in an awkward experience and due to the longer barrel may retain a significant amount of your sample, reducing your odds for success.
One option is the Mosie insemination syringe, which was designed specifically for this purpose, and obviously I’m a big fan as it helped us complete our family. Mosie has a slit opening to mimic mother nature and provide a more laminar flow for the sperm, no barrel so it doesn’t trap any of the specimen you’re working with, and a rounded end to maximize release and comfort.
So you have your syringe and you have your sample, now it’s a matter of getting the sample into the syringe.
To keep things simple and minimize room for error we recommend doing the transfer to the syringe in the same place the transfer to the vagina will take place.
Now...in this process air bubbles in the syringe are not ideal. Some tiny ones are almost impossible to avoid however, it’s the big ones you want to avoid.
Before transferring the sample to the syringe, pull the plunger of the empty syringe all the way up and push it fully back down to remove air. The plunger should be fully plunged into the tip of the barrel.
Now to transfer the sperm into the syringe. First you'll want to dip the end of the syringe in the sample cup directly in contact with the specimen. Keeping the sperm absorbed in the specimen slowly pull up the plunger to transfer the specimen to the syringe. This is pretty straight-forward and you should see the sperm entering the syringe.
Once the sample is in the syringe, slowly push the plunger forward while flicking the tip of the syringe with your other hand to eliminate the bubbles until the sample is as close to the tip as possible without expelling it.
Next you'll want to get horizontal and comfortable. If possible, use pillows to raise your hips and legs slightly higher than your waist.
Insert the syringe into your vagina just like you would a tampon — for best results, insert up to the handles on the end. Then fully push the plunger to release the sample. Gently remove the syringe.
Kick back and relax. You’ll need to continue lying down for 15-30 minutes. We recommend listening to music or your favorite podcast, reading, napping, whatever works for you.
So there you have it folks, that’s how easy it is to inseminate at home. For more info on the Mosie syringe and helpful tips check us out at mosiebaby.com.