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Introduction to Alternative Insemination

Molly and I attended the first of a two-part Alternative Insemination Program orientation at our local LGBT-friendly healthcare provider. We chose to go to them for a couple of reasons. They are certainly cheaper than a fertility clinic, but they only do natural inseminations; they don’t do anything with fertility drugs, but at this point we have no reason to believe that Molly will have any problems with infertility. Also, we’ve both heard good things about the office, and they have a brand new facility that seems really nice.

This first session covered most of the basics of AI, including how to chart cycles, methods of selecting donors and ordering sperm, various methods of insemination (at home vs. in-office), success rates, and legal issues.

Before attending the second part of the orientation, Molly must have charted her cycles for at least three months, using basal body temperature (BBT) and ovulation predictor kits (OPK). This will allow them to more accurately estimate a window of time when ovulation should occur, which determines when to set up potential insemination appointments. So, she stopped her contraceptive and will start to chart her cycles.

They gave us a list of tests that need to be done to get medical clearance before we can do the first insemination. Since insurance should pay for these tests, if ordered by her primary care physician, and the results are only good for a year, we’ve decided to wait a few months before getting these tests done (when it will be closer to the time we do the first insemination). We’ve decided that September will be the first month we inseminate; that way, the baby won’t (or shouldn’t) be born much before I graduate from veterinary school in May 2010.

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