ClientBlogHome Insemination: Why Does Cryos Recommend Two MOT10 Sperm Straws?
Home Insemination, Fertility treatment, Donor sperm

Home Insemination: Why Does Cryos Recommend Two MOT10 Sperm Straws?

By Cryos | 9/17/2018
home insemination MOT levels recommendation explained

The amount of donor sperm you purchase for home insemination is one of the most important factors when it comes to being successful in getting pregnant.


Read below to understand why we recommend two MOT10 (or higher) straws of ICI-ready (unwashed) or IUI-ready (washed) sperm for home insemination.

What is MOT?

MOT is an abbreviation for motility. Motility is the number of millions of motile (mobile) sperm cells per milliliter (ml). This refers to the number of sperm cells that are able to move or swim.

For example, let’s look at what MOT10 means according to the World Health Organization (WHO) standards. MOT20 means that there are a minimum of 10 million motile sperm in each ml after thawing.

A single MOT10 straw is 0.5ml, so you need two of these to make 1 ml, and it is guaranteed to have between 5 - 9.5 million motile sperm. Read more about the meaning of MOT and its significance here.

Cryos Recommendation for Home Insemination

How Much Sperm is Needed for Home Insemination?

Cryos sperm straws are 0.5 ml each. Two straws will add up to 1 ml of sperm. This will provide you with a minimum of at least 10 million sperm when purchasing two MOT10 straws. Published data suggests that the optimal number of motile sperm needed to achieve a pregnancy is in this range.

In our 30 years of experience in helping people get pregnant, we have learned that it is better to have two opportunities to fertilize the egg during your ovulation.

Every woman is different, but two inseminations timed approximately 12 hours apart should cover the most critical fertile window during ovulation. There is only a 12-24 hour window to catch your egg once it drops during ovulation, so timing is key! Learn more about ovulation and timing here.

Why Does Home Insemination Need this Much Sperm?

While it is true that it takes only one sperm to get pregnant, keep in mind for each sperm that reaches the egg there are millions of sperm that are unable to make the trip. Vaginal walls tend to be extremely acidic which protects you from potential infections and invaders. During your fertility window, your body actually creates a friendly fluid that helps the sperm to swim towards the egg. But a significant amount of the sperm simply get lost in the cervix.

The sperm that do make it through the cervix and up to the uterus must then avoid your body's natural reaction of releasing white blood cells to fight these pesky "invaders". The remaining sperm swim intensely to try to find the opening to the Fallopian tubes.

This journey is not an easy task and out of the millions of sperm inserted in the home insemination process, only a few make it to the area where the egg is released during ovulation.

Graph - Sperm Motility Versus the Likelihood of Getting Pregnant 

The graph below shows the percentage rate of getting pregnant versus the total sperm count in a sperm sample (in millions) using aggregate data. This data is predominantly for clinical IUI inseminations to reduce variable factors like timing, and it shows there is a big difference between the likelihood of getting pregnant using one MOT5 straw for example (guaranteed minimum of 2.5 million sperm per straw) compared to one MOT10 straw (guaranteed minimum 5 million sperm per straw), and the recommended two MOT10 straws (guaranteed between 10 million sperm and 19 million sperm).

The pregnancy rate when using two MOT10 straws is about 12.5%. This is a 50% increase from the pregnancy rate when using a MOT5 with 2.5 million motile sperm for insemination. The rates continue to increase steadily up to 20 million sperm, and then start to plateau.

Therefore higher MOT levels can be used, but usually because it is a personal preference (Cryos has straws ranging from MOT5 - MOT30+) versus a higher chance of pregnancy.

Graph - Sperm Motility vs Likelihood of Getting Pregnant

Source(s): | | Success rates for Intrauterine insemination as a function of amount of sperm used.References: Average of data from: Nuojua-Huttunen S, Tomas C, Bloigu R, Tuomivaara L, Martikainen H (March 1999). "Intrauterine insemination treatment in subfertility: an analysis of factors affecting outcome". Hum. Reprod. 14 (3): 698–703. PMID 10221698., assuming an average insemination volume of 1ml ("Insemination volumes ranged from 0.5 to 2 ml") | Kang BM, Wu TC (July 1996). "Effect of age on intrauterine insemination with frozen donor sperm". Obstet Gynecol 88 (1): 93–8. DOI:10.1016/0029-7844(96)00074-9.PMID 8684770. | Pasqualotto EB, Daitch JA, Hendin BN, et al (October 1999). "Relationship of total motile sperm count and percentage motile sperm to successful pregnancy rates following intrauterine insemination". J. Assist. Reprod. Genet. 16 (9): 476–82. PMID 10530401.

What Other Factors Should I Consider When Planning a Home Insemination?

There are many important factors to take into consideration when doing a home insemination. These include your age, fertility, regular menstrual cycle, and timing. While it may be difficult to control some of these factors, you do have the ability to choose which motility is right for you.

This is why we are the only sperm bank in the US to provide straws according to different MOTs to meet your needs.

If finances are a consideration when you begin to build your family, take into account that you may end up spending more money in the long run if you choose a lower MOT level of sperm than what is recommended.

It may also be more difficult to time your insemination with only 1 straw, which may take more cycles to achieve a positive pregnancy result. This is why we also recommend two MOT10 straws over one MOT20 straw.

Click here to read our most frequently asked questions about home insemination and other factors to consider before purchasing.

Have Questions? Contact Cryos

Call Cryos at 407-203-1175 to speak with one of our friendly Customer Care Coordinators. They will answer any questions you have about choosing the right donor sperm for your home insemination. A live online chat system is also available during regular operating hours through our website.

We look forward to making your family dreams come true!