Prior to making a commitment to having the intrauterine insemination (aka IUI) procedure to get pregnant, couples and women on their own should consider the success rates of such a procedure. The process of IUI involves the placement of sperm, which can either be obtained from the woman’s partner or a sperm donor, into the woman’s uterus during ovulation.
Success Influenced by Infertility Cause
The success of intrauterine insemination varies from one person to the next. Statistics show that infertile couples that use IUI have a wide range of success rates from around four percent to 20 percent. The reason for infertility is one of the primary factors that affect the success rate of the IUI procedure. Based on research, IUI appears to be more successful in these infertility cases:
- Unexplained infertility
- Male infertility, caused by poor motility or low sperm count
- Mild cases of endometriosis
- Women who have cervical mucus issues
If the infertility is on the male side, research shows that couples using donor sperm to conceive are likely to realize a higher success rate. In fact, The Sperm Bank of California shows just over a 16 percent IUI success rate per cycle.
Women who experience ovulation problems are generally prescribed some type of ovarian stimulation medication or follicle stimulating hormone to help move the process along before having the IUI procedure. The use of the above-mentioned medications can influence the positive success rate of the procedure. When fertility drugs are used in combination with IUI, those that are experiencing mild endometriosis show to realize a higher rate of pregnancy.
Success Rates of Provider IUI
Your IUI success rates will weigh heavily on the doctor and clinic chosen for the procedure. As a general rule, a clinic and physician that specializes in fertility treatments, particular the intrauterine insemination, will have a higher success rate. Because of more experience, success rates may be high in established fertility clinics. All in all, no matter how good a physician is, the timing of the artificial insemination is crucial in order to become pregnant.
Seek referrals from your OB-GYN or family doctor. If you know a friend or family member that has been down the journey before, find out where they obtained their successful pregnancy from. Here are a few questions to ask when you are visiting, reviewing and interviewing physicians and clinics:
- What are the success rates for the fertility treatments offered?
- What is the average time to conceive when using intrauterine insemination?
- Are we good candidates for the IUI procedure?
- Will anyone need to take any type of fertility drugs?
- Will hormone therapy be required?
- Does the clinic offer any infertility support groups?
- If insurance does not cover the IUI procedure, do you offer payment plans?
Make sure that you choose a clinic or physician that offers counseling and has high success rates. Infertility is a very stressful experience for couples as well as individuals, so having a support group to go to can help. Overall, you want to make sure that a supportive environment is provided – in the office – along with high success rates.
Choosing to Go With the IUI Procedure
When couples have fertility issues, they often turn to intrauterine insemination. However, couples that have severe – or even moderate – problems with infertility may want to reduce the risk of spending unnecessary money and choose a more aggressive fertility treatment option from the beginning.
While it is true that IUI costs less than in-vitro fertilization, it can take more inseminations cycles for pregnancy to occur. Most physicians recommend that couples use IUI as the procedure for the first few cycles prior to choosing another fertility treatment.
If you are not a good candidate for IUI, speak with your doctor about avoiding IUI altogether and using a procedure like IVF, that will give you a higher chance of getting pregnant. In the long run, it will probably be less stressful and less costly, as you won’t go through as many failed cycles and then still need IVF. Don’t make this type of decision on your own, though, as it is something that should be carefully and thoroughly discussed with a specialist.
IUI is a common option for women and couples who cannot get pregnant on their own due to infertility. Speaking with a fertility specialist openly will help determine if IUI would prove to be successful to the woman or couple trying to conceive.