Are you considering artificial insemination to get pregnant? Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is currently the most common and popular form of artificial insemination. The other type of artificial insemination is called intracervical insemination (ICI).
Think of the IUI procedure as an improvement on other forms of artificial insemination. During IUI and ICI, sperm is deposited directly into your reproductive tract. However, during IUI, a very specialized process occurs that helps to boost success rates. In a process called sperm washing, your partner’s sperm or a donor’s sperm will be washed and prepared before insemination with IUI.
Artificial insemination success rates
The percent of couples that become pregnant after one cycle of IUI ranges from 10 to 20 percent. However, different factors can affect these success rates, including fertility problems for men and women as well as age.
IUI success rates with fertility drugs
If your doctor suspects female infertility problems, he or she may prescribe a round of fertility drugs before you begin a round of artificial insemination. This fertility drug process, known as ovulation induction or superovulation, encourages your body to release more eggs in preparation for an IUI. Ovulation induction increases IUI success rates for women over 35. Here are success rates by age for women that use superovulation and IUI.
- 10 percent success rate per cycle for women ages 35 to 40.
- 5 percent success rate per cycle for women over 40.
Artificial insemination and donor sperm
If you and your partner are dealing with male factor infertility, ask your doctor about using donor sperm. This could make artificial insemination more successful for you. One study found that 86 percent of women using donor sperm with IUI became pregnant.
ICI: Another form of artificial insemination
You just don’t hear as much about intracervical insemination (ICI) these days. ICI is less popular, and has lower rates of success than IUI. Most of the time, people talking about artificial insemination are probably talking about IUI.
The ICI process involves the injection of non-washed sperm into the cervix, instead of the uterus. One study reported that women using donor sperm with ICI faced a 50 percent chance of success after multiple cycles.
Note: Make sure you do not confuse ICI with ICSI. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a procedure that takes place with in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Every couple has such a different fertility journey. Your personal health, combined with your partner’s personal health, will affect your success rates. If you or your partner are dealing with infertility, artificial insemination may be just what you need to get pregnant.
6 Factors Affecting Artificial Insemination Statistics
Artificial insemination statistics can vary, depending on a number of factors. We explain six important factors that might affect your personal artificial insemination statistics, also known as IUI success rates.
1. What type of artificial insemination are you choosing?
Did you know that there are several types of artificial insemination? Intrauterine insemination (IUI) often has higher success rates over intracervical insemination(ICI).
A large part of the success of IUI is due to the special sperm washing procedure. Here is how it works:
- The sperm sample is spun down, separating the healthy sperm from the less mobile sperm.
- The concentrated healthy sperm are then injected directly into the uterus.
The special sperm washing effect in IUI may boost your chances of artificial insemination pregnancy.
2. How old are you?
Finding success with artificial insemination often depends on a woman’s age.
Here are insemination success rates by age:
- Women under 35 have a 10 to 20 percent chance of getting pregnant during an IUI cycle.
- Women between 35 and 40 have a 10 percent chance of getting pregnant using IUI when using fertility drugs.
- Women over 40 have a 5 percent chance of getting pregnant using IUI with fertility drugs.
3. Are you using fertility drugs?
Some women undergoing artificial insemination, especially those over 35, may be advised to take fertility medications to induce a state of superovulation. Superovulation allows your body to release more eggs during ovulation to boost your chances of pregnancy success.
This use of fertility drugs may increase your chances of pregnancy with IUI. Most women that take a fertility drug, Clomid, while undergoing IUI become pregnant within 4 to 5 cycles.
Injectable medications are another option recommended for those that do not have success with Clomid and IUI. Your doctor may recommend that you try 3 to 6 cycles of IUI with injectables before moving on to another fertility treatment option like in vitro fertilization (IVF).
4. How many inseminations should you do?
To boost your chances of pregnancy with artificial insemination, ask your reproductive endocrinologist about doing two inseminations during your cycle. Some research has shown that two inseminations are better than one.
5. Rest awhile or get up after IUI?
The debate about the need to rest after artificial insemination is ongoing. Recently, researchers studied 400 couples that used IUI to conceive. They found that women who lie down for 15 minutes after IUI were 10 percent more likely to get pregnant during that cycle than women who got up following the procedure.
The group that rested had artificial insemination success rates of 27 percent. The group of women that got up quickly had lower pregnancy success rates at 17 percent.
6. Could donor sperm and IUI help you conceive?
Donor sperm may also make a difference with it comes to artificial insemination success rates. One study looked at women who used donor sperm for insemination and here are their findings:
- IUI with donor sperm had an 86 percent chance of success, all cycles combined.
- ICI with donor sperm had a 50 percent chance of success, all cycles combined.
If you are looking for a fertility treatment to help you conceive, artificial insemination may help. Discuss the factors listed above with your fertility specialist.
Your doctor may be able to fine-tune the artificial insemination procedure to achieve the highest chances of pregnancy success possible for you.
- RESOLVE. Using Donor Sperm.
- American Pregnancy Association. Intrauterine Insemination.
- National Health Service. Lying down “boosts insemination.”
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Third Party Reproduction: A Guide for Patients.