Artificial Insemination at Home: Turkey Baster Method

  • Turkey Baster Baby Method of Artificial Insemination at Home

The Turkey Baster Method is the most common way of artificial insemination to get pregnant and have an artificial insemination at home. More often than not you do NOT actually use a turkey baster but a disposable syringe.

Turkey Baster Pregnancy Insemination

You need the following supplies for an artificial insemination at home with a turkey baster:

  1. Needleless syringe or oral medicine syringe (instead of the turkey baster)
  2. Collection cup, baggy or condom
  3. (Optional) Saline without additives or preservatives
  4. (Optional) Tube to attach to syringe
  5. (Optional) Mild germicidal soap

You can ask your doctor for a needleless syringe or you can buy an oral medicine syringe at just about any drugstore or in Wal*Mart near the children's thermometers. Buy the syringe with a plunger, not a bulb end (not the mini turkey baster!). The syringes work pretty much the same way. One that is maybe 4 inches long, or longer, is probably best. The oral medicine syringes have about a half inch narrow tip on the end. You can attach a catheter (thin tube) to either kind of syringe but you don't need to and it may waste more of the semen to use one.

a) Take a clean or sterile glass or plastic cup, baggy, or collection condom and have the male ejaculate into it. Do NOT use a regular condom because it may contain chemicals that kill sperm. There are special collection condoms for this purpose which do not have sperm-killing chemicals.

You'll probably have better luck getting the semen out of a cup since you could suck the baggy or condom up to the syringe and block the opening, but you may get a larger sample with the baggy or the special collection condom. You can use a tiny bit of saline, without additives/preservatives, to help get as much sperm as possible into the syringe, but you don't need to worry too much about leaving a little behind. If you are using frozen sperm, you need to ask the sperm bank for directions on thawing.

b) Draw back on the syringe once with nothing but air, then push the air out again.

c) Draw back on the syringe again, but this time have the end of it in the semen -- the vacuum created by pulling back on the stopper will suck the semen into the syringe.

d) Try to tap out any air bubbles since you don't want to inject air into your vagina. You can do this by slowly rotating the syringe until the opening is facing up. Tap the air bubbles to the top and them push the plunger in on the catheter just a small amount -- enough to get rid of air w/o squirting semen out.

Syringes Pregnancy Insemination

e) Get into a position where you can do the artificial insemination at home and either stay comfortably for a half hour or can get into the position w/ minimal movement. Ideal is to either have hips raised or to lay on your side making sure your pelvis is canted (usually hips provide natural angle if you hips are wider than your waist, but if your bed, or wherever you are lying, is soft, you may want to put a pillow or two underneath your hip).

f) Slowly glide the syringe, or catheter, into the vagina until it is close to the cervix -- but do not try to get it into the cervix and do this gently. Your goal is to coat the outside of the cervix and to deposit as much sperm as possible as close the cervix as you can get it.

g) SLOWLY inject sperm. If you do it too fast, it can squirt out of the vagina or at least spray away from the cervix.

h) If you are concerned about wastage in the syringe, you can use some saline, without additives . . . add some to the syringe, shake it a bit, get the air out, and inject. This is not necessary since there probably won't be enough wastage to be of concern.

i) Try to have an orgasm -- Some suggest that using a vibrator for clitoral stimulation produces a bigger, more powerful orgasm. Use whatever method works best for you (unless it requires lots of water!). The orgasm helps the cervix dip into the vaginal pool and suck up sperm -- it helps get more sperm up there, and may speed sperm travel. Avoid penetration (as in intercourse or with vibrator). This falls in the can't hurt, might help category.

j) It's  best to use the equipment only once and then discard it to prevent contaminaion. Otherwise, you can use water and a mild germicidal soap to clean your supplies if they will have time to dry completely before re-use, or run very hot water over them. 


Timing for this kind of artificial insemination at home is the same as for intercourse. The best timing is the day of ovulation and the 2-3 days before ovulation. If you use an ovulation predictor kit then it's the day of the LH surge, the day before the LH surge (as detected with an ovulation predictor kit), and next 1-2 days, the last day or two being insurance. If you don't have all those options, the day of the LH surge and the day after are best.

The advantage to this method is that you don't need any fitted equipment! You don't even need a speculum (though you can use one).

The success rate is the same as with intercourse, perhaps a bit less because there are usually fewer opportunities for insemination and timing may not cover the bases as well.