Couples unable to conceive conventionally are embracing the do-it-yourself (DIY) ethos in order to avoid the increasing price of medically assisted conception, The New Republic‘s Allison Yarrow reports.
A lesbian couple, Nellie Mead and Teresa Espinosa, became minor YouTube celebrities last year when they documented their attempt to conceive their daughter, Aliena, who was born in July.
In a series of videos, the pair described the various methods they used to perform a successful artificial “at-home insemination.”
“I was shocked when it worked,” Mead told Yarrow. Her other options were “to have sex with a guy, and that wasn’t happening,” or “to save thousands of dollars to buy sperm.”
“As lesbians a lot of us want kids and we already know that shit’s too expensive” Mead said, so she and her partner searched online for alternative methods. They ultimately used an ovulation predictor kit, a 1 milliliter syringe, menstrual caps designed to catch period blood, as well as prenatal vitamins and Robitussin cough syrup to loosen cervical mucus.
In the video in which they describe their success — available below — the couple notes that a number of the concerns that people have about at-home insemination, such as the ability to locate the cervix, are overblown by medical professionals who have other reasons to discourage women from attempting to perform an at-home artificial insemination.
As a reproductive specialist told Slate, while the desire for couples who want to conceive to “have as pleasant an environment as possible…insemination is a medical procedure, and like anything else in medicine, it requires training.”
But as Yarrow noted, “Macgyvering” a conception “feels like a natural act to men and women raised on the Internet,” and “at-home insemination advocates see the practice as simpatico with the homebirth movement — women forgoing hospitals in favor of laboring at home.”
As Mead told her, “I loved that Teresa was part of the entire process, just like a heterosexual couple. She can really say she got me pregnant.”
Watch the video of Mead and Espinosa describing their success below via YouTube.