Since we’re moving onto IUI#4, I wanted to do some research on Clomid vs. injectables. I came across the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago website that provided the following statistics that I thought might be worth sharing:
Insemination is a reasonable initial treatment that should be utilized for a maximum of about 3-4 months in women who are ovulating (releasing eggs) on their own.
For a couple with unexplained infertility, female age under 35, trying for 2 years, and normal sperm – we would generally expect about:
- 8% chance per month of conceiving and delivering with artificial insemination and Clomid for up to about 3 cycles (lower percentages with Clomid and insemination after 3 attempts)
- 12% chance per month of conceiving and delivering with injectable FSH medication (e.g. Follistim, Gonal-F, or Menopur) and insemination for up to about 3 cycles (lower after 3 attempts)
- 55% chance of conceiving and delivering with one cycle (month) of IVF treatment (at our center – success rates vary greatly between clinics)
Most pregnancies resulting from insemination with the male partner’s sperm occur in the first 3 attempts. The chances for success per month drop off after about 3 attempts and drop considerably more after about 4-5 unsuccessful attempts. Therefore, IUI treatment is usually recommended for a maximum of about 3 or 4 tries.
An excellent study published in 1998 reviewed results from 45 other published studies of fertility treatments for unexplained infertility. The study attempted to determine an “average success rate” for various forms of fertility treatment for couples with unexplained infertility. As a brief summary, they found:
So let’s see. I ovulate on my own, we have normal sperm, and I’m about to have my fourth IUI. This will be my fourth month on Clomid, this time at 150mg which I believe is the maximum dosage. If this cycle doesn’t work, I’m pretty sure we’ll try more IUIs before considering moving on to IVF. However, if this cycle doesn’t work I’ll definitely ask my RE to move me to injectables next. Actually, I’m going to ask about injectables at my next visit anyway.
An 8% (Clomid) or 12% (injectables) success rate doesn’t seem too promising, but who knows what the actual success rates are. Some doctor say it can be as much as 20% each IUI cycle. Either way, the odds aren’t against me after three failed IUIs. More time is all we need. And time we have.