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Houston Fertility Center

DIY Artificial Insemination Just Adds to Infertility Stress

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on January 13, 2012

Gone are the days of uninformed consumers and all-knowing experts. Now with just a flip of the webpage, you can find step-by-step instructions on everything from remodeling a bathroom to getting pregnant with artificial insemination. DIY conception used to be the only means available for people who couldn't get pregnant "the old fashioned way." It's a real good thing we've come a long way from those days.

But have we? It turns out there's an underground, online market for sperm, where women can access prospective biological fathers for their children without the intervention (and guidance, and screening, and medical and legal protections) of reproductive professionals.

Newsweek's Tony Dokoupil called one related website "a weird blend of Facebook, Match.com and a traditional sperm bank" in this article for ABC News.

"What's wrong with the DIY approach to getting pregnant, Dr. Kristiansen?"

Here's a quick list of why I think you and, more importantly, your potential children are far better off going the more conventional routes to accessing sperm for getting pregnant:

Without standard controls by the Food & Drug Administration and the policies and procedures of reputable clinics like the Houston Fertility Center, you risk transmission of infectious diseases and genetic conditions, to both the mother and child.

Engaging in activity within this level of intimacy, even if sexual intercourse isn't on the agenda, with people whom you've only "met" online is simply not as safe as using professional services.

Agreements made between individuals about level of parental responsibility and involvement in the child's life may not be binding without proper legal representation and execution.

If you've found the whole process of getting pregnant stressful, just imagine the additional burden that comes with using what amounts to be an unknown substance to conceive. Worry about the cost of artificial insemination? It just doesn't compare to worrying about your personal safety and your child's health and future.

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