Clomid vs. Injectables

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:

Picture 2

So let’s see. I ovulate on my own, we have normal sperm, and I’m about to have my fourth IUI.Β  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.

11 responses to “Clomid vs. Injectables

  1. Just found your blog! I know you didn’t ask but I would recommend moving on to injectables. We’ve been diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Everything turned out complete normal with all of our tests. I tried 3 Clomid cycles with my ob/gyn. I tried 3 injectable IUIs with our RE. After all 3 IUIs failed he said we could do another injectable IUI cycle but that the chances of it working were low after 3 failures. After lots of intense decision making, we decided to stop with IUIs and move forward with IVF. It worked (still can’t believe I’m pregnant!)! We’re due in March! So I would recommend IVF too. Although if someone had told me that during my IUIs I would have said, yeah right, we won’t be going down the path of IVF! Honestly I wish we had never even done those IUIs and moved straight to IVF. But anyway! BEST WISHES!!! πŸ™‚ Let me know if you ever have any questions! πŸ™‚

    • babybaker

      thanks for the tip. i think i’m still going to push for injectables this go around, but when i spoke to the nurse yesterday she said next cycle would be increased clomid. i didn’t ask her any specific questions since i’ll see my RE on monday so i can just talk to him directly. i’ll definitely reach out if i have ?s. thank you so much!

      oh, and i’ve been following your blog and i’m so happy for you! so glad you got your ovary situation sorted out. i can’t imagine how scary that must have been. glad everything is okay! your belly pics are adorable! πŸ™‚

  2. Jen

    HI, before moving on to injectibles, I did 250mg of Clomid! YIKES. I think that is the highest dose. Although I tolerated the lower doses fairly well, the 250 gave me the dreaded “vision issues” that the label warns about. It made me get like “flashing floaters” in the AM, and also a burst blood vessel in my eye! They immediately put a stop to the Clomid. Also, I’m not sure how your lining is, but it made mine way too thin, and I wished that I hadn’t wasted so many months on it. Just wanted to share!

    • babybaker

      250?! holy crap! a burst blood vessel in your EYE! i’m already worried about my vision because i feel like it’s getting worse but i had lasik and have 20/20 vision. i’m afraid to go to the eye doctor because i’m afraid i’ll be treated for a temporary condition.

      my lining was only 7mm on CD14 last cycle so that worries me too. i start progesterone the day following the IUI and i think that’s supposed to help thicken things up. i also take a baby aspirin every day. but still! it needs to be cozy and comfy in order for implantation to occur, right?

      you ladies all have me even more jazzed about injectables. i know it will cost me significantly more, but it may very well be worth it! hoping AF comes tomorrow so i can go in on monday to get things rolling.

      thank you, jen!

  3. I know that you didn’t ask but another drug to consider is Femera. It doesn’t thin your lining like Clomid.

    • babybaker

      thank you! i will also ask about femara on monday. i love all of this advice! it reminds me how lucky i am to have this blog and that i’m not alone in this. xo!

  4. That table was helpful. Thanks for finding that. I have heard of a lot of people doing really well on injectables that didn’t do as well on clomid. I’m not ready to move onto that point yet though. Good luck!

  5. This is great information. I’m also experiencing unexplained IF. We’ve done two natural IUI cycles. #1 was BFN and I still don’t know the result of #2 but I assume it is another BFN. We are suppose to skip Clomid and move directly to IUI with injectibles next. RE also said it is an option to jump straight to IVF but we aren’t ready to go there just yet. It is so frustrating!

  6. I hope your dr. prescribes injectibles vs clomid. I did four cycles of IU (with clomid and injectibles). My dr suggested IVF after the failed IUI#3, but I wanted to do one more cycle of IUI (since insurance covered it). That resulted in a BFP, but I miscarried. We decided to do IVF after that. I am praying and praying that this recent BFP won’t result in miscarriage.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I wish you the best of luck on your next IUI. I love the pictures you have on your blog. It’s hilarious!

  7. Julie

    My RE put me on injectibles for my third IUI and I had MUCH better results than on clomid (I also ovulate on my own). You would have to go in for more frequent monitoring to make sure you dont have too many follicles and end up with a litter. They had to lower my dosage towards the end since I was producing so many. I think it’s definitely worth trying!
    Thank you for your recent post, reading along your blog has helped me keep things in perspective! (-:

  8. A

    I think my doctor gave me a tad higher success rates than even what these studies show (for follistim), but I may have heard him wrong. I sure hope our injectible #1 cycle is successful for us- I would totally ask for them if I were you!

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After nearly 3 years of TTC and the help of ART, we got pregnant on our 5th IVF/FET transfer after IVF #2. Our beautiful fraternal twin boys were born on 7/15/11 at 37w0d.

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