I heard about +one, a new integrated product and platform that helps lesbian couples conceive, from multiple sources simultaneously. My networks were super excited about it, and I know you will be too, dear Autostraddle readers! +one is poised to fill a serious void for us in terms of resources, materials, and peer-to-peer support.
If you’ve spent time searching the depths of the internet for accurate, up-to-date, trustworthy information about how to conceive — from medical, legal, financial and emotional perspectives — you know how seriously lacking it is. +one intends to provide tons of content on their website in the form of articles, webinars, and personal consultations with experts. They’ll also have a forum for folks to connect and share experiences.
For folks who want to conceive at home, they’ve got a sexy product for that too (currently designed for use with a known donor.) It’s a reusable, all glass and silicone, insulated collection cup and applicator, designed to make it as easy as possible to suck all that precious semen up and shoot it inside yourself (or your partner). The kit also includes simple to read in-the-moment instructions so you know what to do.
I got my hands on the prototype, and it’s awesome. Also, I really like glass — and rad queer/women-run businesses serving our underserved communities! Watch the interview to hear directly from two of the founders, visit their website, and stay tuned for their launch.
What +one wants most right now is to hear from you! Sign up for their mailing list on their site and get in touch with them if you have ideas or resources. Also, share your stories, challenges, and joys of your conception journey in the comments. They’ll be hanging out down there and would love to hear from you.
v v cool
this looks awesome! but i wonder if this article could better reflect the product’s desire to reach the full queer population, rather than just ‘lesbians’, who are definitely not the only queer folks around trying to get preggers. :)
Hi Christina, Thanks for the feedback! I thought long and hard about what language to use, as it’s really (at least currently) designed for a cisfemale person using a known donor and targeted towards lesbian-identified couples (though of course it could be used by a cisfemale person partnered with a trans or genderqueer partner or a single cisfemale, too!)
Or are you affiliated with the product, and I’m getting things wrong? Please chime in as I’m happy to issue a correction if so!
Also definitely open to a better way to explain it.
I hesitated to say “queer families” or even LGBT folks, as I’m not sure what resources they will have for trans folks (who may or may not have their fertility impacted by hormones or surgery), gay male couples, or other kinds of queer families. Of course not all lesbian couples have a partner with a uterus or ovaries, though, so there’s that too.
Obviously it’s feeling hard for me to describe in few words, so please do chime in with additional thoughts!
Thanks for the comment! Like Haley, we are still struggling to figure out what language to use. We’d love any suggestions!
One point of clarification: the physical product is for people who have at least one uterus in their relationship, but no “intimate” source of sperm. The platform, though, will have resources for many different people, trying to get pregnant in many different ways.
If you have more thoughts, please share!
Wow, this sounds very cool! My wife and I are going to be exploring these options in the next few years, and I am excited to have a new resource to turn to!
I like the idea of more information and resources in one place. I don’t like the idea of being sold extraneous products. I found free medicine syringes and plastic containers to work just fine to get myself pregnant. I also used an instead cup once. Why make an already expensive and complicated process more
so by telling use we need to buy special insemination kits?
I hear that, though I think some people are willing to spend money to have what they find to be a sexier or more intimate experience (which I think glass can provide). There’s a big emotional component for everyone involved of course, which we all approach differently. I do also like that it’s reusable, as I try to eliminate single use plastic from my life when I can.
But it’s a great point about DIY-ing it, and I’d encourage the founders to include resources about how to home inseminate for free on their site! Thanks for pointing that out.
It might be cool if they were able to provide their instruction booklet as a free downloadable pdf too!
But of course if they want to be able to create all this content and keep it maintained and updated they will have to earn money in some way, so that’s likely a factor as well.
I appreciate the perspective, and we certainly heard that others in this community as well. And, we’re all about finding medical syringes and artichoke jars (thanks for the tip, Choosing Children!), and we intend to support people choosing to do that with more free resources via our website (and through our professional connections). But our research also showed that many people wanted the experience to feel more special, or they didn’t feel like they had enough support, or they just wanted to simply order one box online that had everything they needed in it, and so that’s why we came up with the idea for the home conception kit.
We’re always interested in talking to more people and hearing more perspectives. Please be in touch through our website, plusoneconception.com, if you would be interested in talking with us more.
I agree. My husband and I used an instead cup with our son’s birth mother, and it worked perfect, first attempt on two different tries (first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage after 5 weeks).
I appreciate the idea, but when instead cups are available in every CVS for about 5 dollars, and the information easily available on the internet, this seems a bit overkill.
Thanks for the comment, Saethor! We did find lots of information on the internet about using menstrual cups to keep semen around a cervix. It’s certainly an option!
What we found in our conversations was that people have been making it work with DIY tools or the information available online for a long time, but many of them want to bring a feeling of support or security to the conception experience. +one is just one of the options that’s trying to raise awareness about LGBTQ conception and help people who would like more options.
As part of our free info, we’ll definitely have links to the Instead cup method and we also hope to have conception stories like yours for people to learn from!
Thanks again, and please be in touch through our website, plusoneconception.com, if you would be interested in talking with us more.
I love this idea! Going to sign up for the newsletter right now.
Wow, this sounds fantastic! In the next years, my wife and I will be looking into these choices, and I’m pleased to have a new resource to turn to!