In 1983, CWHC started the first Alternative Insemination (AI) Program in the Midwest for lesbians, bisexual and queer couples, single women of any sexual orientation, and trans* people. Since then, we have been assisting women and trans* people on their path to pregnancy in a comfortable, respectful environment, at a more affordable price. CWHC offers sensitive health care and emotional support throughout this intimate process. We provide access to a variety of resources to help you with decisions about your health care and family.
Although our program is specifically designed for lesbians, bisexual, queer, single women, and trans* people, we do work with non-trans* heterosexual couples on a case-by-case basis. Our services include known donor consults, instruction and on-call support to do at-home inseminations, in-office intra-uterine inseminations, and an AI Peer Support Group.
Most of our clients do not have fertility problems – they simply need access to sperm and inseminations. Therefore, our program favors a low-intervention approach that respects each individual’s natural fertility cycle. We help you learn more about fertility signs, and offer ways for you to be more participatory in your health care and in the process of becoming parents.
Types of Insemination
Although Alternative Insemination is often called “artificial insemination,” CWHC prefers the term “alternative” because there is nothing “artificial” about the process. We provide both intrauterine and vaginal inseminations at our clinic. Because our program respects the body’s natural fertility cycles, we offer insemination every day and evening, including weekends. We also provide instruction and supplies to assist you in performing vaginal inseminations at home.
Sperm Bank Options
We work with a variety of sperm banks, including The Sperm Bank of California, Pacific Reproductive Services, California Cryo Bank, Seattle Sperm Bank, Cryogam, Midwest Sperm Bank, and Northwest Cryo Bank. All are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and accredited by American Association of Tissue Banks or an equivalent agency. We can also work with other accredited sperm banks.
CWHC’s pre-insemination process includes three steps:
Schedule an initial consultation
Your first step is an in-office consultation, where you learn more about our program, and we learn more about what stage you are at in the family planning process. This individualized hour-long meeting gives you the opportunity to have all of your questions answered. Topics discussed include financial, legal and emotional aspects of AI, sperm choice options, types of inseminations provided through CWHC, optional hormone testing and education about charting fertility signs.
Chart fertility signs for at least three months
We teach you to observe and record your menstrual cycle in order to plan insemination timing and to identify possible fertility issues to address before beginning inseminations. This involves observing and charting your Basal Body Temperature and other fertility signs for at least three menstrual cycles. During this time, you can begin choosing donors and registering with sperm banks.
This preparation period is also a good time to do basic hormone screening, if desired. Our recommended screenings include checking your blood levels of estradiol (estrogen), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) on day three of your menstrual cycle. These screenings may be done at CWHC or with another provider.
Cost of bloodwork at CWHC: $180-$120
Return to CWHC for a second consultation
At this meeting, we will review your fertility charts and plan the timing of ordering sperm and insemination. We will also review our call system and client guidelines, and sign sperm bank registration forms as needed.
After the second consultation, you can start inseminations whenever you are ready!
CWHC insemination fees: CWHC offers a sliding-scale cycle fee based on household income. This cycle fee includes: management of the sperm order and shipment, two inseminations each cycle and on call support 7 days a week. (This fee is separate from sperm bank fees).
Total costs per cycle range from $1,225-$2,600 depending on your cycle fee and the sperm bank selected.
Do you have questions about our AI program? We would love to hear from you! Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and phone number and the best time to reach you. We look forward to discussing our Alternative Insemination program with you!
If you would like to schedule a consultation, please call us at 773-935-6126 x223.
For more information on payment procedures and the self-pay sliding scale, click here.