IUI Success Rates
If you are considering fertility treatments, you will want to find out as much as you can about each of the various treatment options. Besides obvious questions concerning the treatment process, treatment side effects, and treatment expenses, you will also want to know what the reported success rates of each treatment are. This article will explore the success rates of the IUI procedure.
IUI Success in General
In general, the overall success rates of IUI are not very high, although there are wide discrepancies between the reported results from various studies. On the low end, studies show a success rate of only 6-8% per cycle, while at the upper end there are reports of up to 26% success. There are several contributing factors that influence IUI success statistics.
Success Rate Influencing Factors
1) Fertility Drugs: IUI performed without fertility drugs has lower success rates than IUI with fertility drugs. In turn, IUI in conjunction with Clomid yields lower success rates than IUI with gonadotropins.
2) Number of Follicles: Statistics indicate low rates of IUI success with one follicle and much higher rates of success with multiple follicles.
3) Age: Age is a significant influencing factor in the success of IUI. For women over the age of 40, pregnancy rates following IUI are very low, and thus IUI is either not advised at all, or if one IUI cycle is unsuccessful, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is recommended.
For women under 40 years of age, IVF is recommended once three cycles of IUI have failed to result in pregnancy. Studies indicate that the combined success rate for three IUI cycles is about 39.2%, or 16.4% for each individual IUI cycle. On the other hand, there is a significant drop in IUI success to 5.6% when women continue on to 4-6 cycles.
Sperm Count and Male Infertility: Higher sperm count improves the chances of IUI success; however there is little difference in success rates between "good" sperm counts and "high" sperm counts. In cases of more severe male infertility, IVF treatment is usually recommended.
Treatment expenses are an important factor to consider when you are weighing your fertility treatment options. One attracting feature of IUI is that it is significantly less expensive than its counterparts, such as IVF. However, given the lower success rates of IUI it may take several cycles to yield successful results, and thus the venture becomes quite costly.
It is important that couples do their research carefully when they are considering their statistical chances for treatment success. Beware of clinics and specialists that boast high success rates for treatments that are not appropriate for your specific cause of infertility. Beware also of statistics in general, since they can be misleading and since there are many subtle factors that can influence or distort reported rates of success.