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Family Planning 101: What is ICI?

Intracervical insemination (ICI) is one of the often-unsung heroes of many fertility journeys.

What is ICI?

Intracervical insemination is when sperm is inserted into the cervix, which serves as the passageway to the uterus. The ICI process works alongside careful monitoring of the ovulation cycle. In some cases, additional medications are prescribed to induce ovulation and increase the chances of conception.

One of the draws of ICI is the cost-effectiveness of the procedure because it can be done from the comfort of home.

How does ICI work?

With ICI, timing is key; it starts with the ovulation cycle, and continues with helping sperm get to the fallopian tube before ovulation occurrs for the best shot at a viable pregnancy. The entire process is pretty simple because it’s solely about depositing sperm at the cervix so it has the best shot at fertilizing an egg.

That said, the procedure assumes you have healthy Fallopian tubes and no issues with ovulation or sexual health. It’s always a good idea to schedule a doctor’s appointment to go over your body’s physical health to ensure that there are good odds you’ll be able to conceive via ICI. While nothing is certain, it always helps to have a bit more reassurance.

How much does ICI cost?

ICI is a popular fertility option for many because of how cost-effective it is compared to other options like IVF, surrogacy or adoption. Rather than undergo several procedures in a doctor’s office, you can tackle ICI at home (under a doctor’s supervision, of course). 

That said, the cost of ICI is just an element; there’s also prenatal care to consider, as well as the cost of several rounds of ICI just in case the first round doesn’t take. When saving for this procedure, it’s always better to overestimate costs, just to be sure.


Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are all ways to help people get pregnant without sex. IUI and IVF are medical procedures that can only be done by a doctor at a fertility clinic or surgery center, while ICI can be done at home.

There’s also a difference in the process itself. ICI delivers sperm to or near the cervical opening, whereas IUI delivers sperm directly to the uterus. IVF is a completely different process; the procedure starts with surgical egg retrieval and insemination, and after the eggs fertilize, they’re transferred into the uterus.

Preparing for ICI

As you evaluate your fertility options, you may decide ICI is right for you – in which case, it’s time to start evaluating your next steps. If you haven’t yet started saving, working with a financial planner and setting savings goals in the Daylight app is a great first step, and speaking with your doctor about your health and your body’s preparedness to carry a child.

Starting a family is one of the most exciting things you can choose to do, and whether you determine ICI is the right choice for you or you move onto another option, Daylight Grow is here to support you. With access to our family planning concierge, resource center, and database of vetted lawyers, clinics and more, you’ll have everything you need to start and grow your family.

Risks & Benefits

Benefits of ICI include:

•Non-invasive - This is a non-invasive procedure.

•At home - ICI can be performed at home with/out the guidance of a fertility specialist.

•Cost - This is the most cost effective option, as long as you only need a few attempts.

Risks of ICI include:

•Effective kit - You will want to choose an ICI kit with good ratings.

•Failed attempts - This option has a lower chance of conception compared to IUI/IVF.

•Instructions - It is important to carefully follow the kit instructions as you are completing this at home instead of by your doctor.

Resources needed for ICI include:

•Sperm, either from a partner or a donor 

•Egg inside the gestational carrier

•Insemination kit

•Gestational Carrier

At Daylight Grow, we believe the world needs more queer parents – and we help make that happen. Whether you know you want to start or add to your family through surrogacy or you’re still exploring your options, Daylight Grow is here to help through our family planning concierge, resource center, and community dedicated to supporting queer parents as they navigate the family-building process. Learn more and join today!