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IUI and Clomid

Using intrauterine insemination (IUI, or artificial insemination) with Clomid therapy can maximize a couple's chances of getting pregnant with the fertility drug.

A study published in 1998 reviewed results from 45 other published studies of fertility treatments for unexplained infertility and attempted to determine an "average success rate" for various forms of fertility treatment. Basically, the study established the following for couples with unexplained infertility:

  • For a couple using IUI with no ovarian stimulation, the chance of getting pregnant each month was 3.8 percent.
  • For a couple using Clomid plus sexual intercourse, the chance of getting pregnant each month was 5.6 percent.
  • For a couple using Clomid plus IUI, the chance of getting pregnant each month was 8.3 percent.

Because Clomid blocks estrogen receptors, taking the fertility drug can have an adverse effect by thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the endometrial lining. There are estimates that Clomid creates this condition in about 30 percent of women taking the drug. IUI can be helpful in this instance.

The cervical mucus, which is dependent upon estrogen, helps sperm get to the uterine cavity. It is normally produced right before ovulation and provides the perfect environment for sperm to swim in to find the reproductive tract and an egg to fertilize. If Clomid thickens the cervical mucus, it makes it more difficult for sperm to swim and enter the uterus. An IUI can help overcome the cervical mucus issue because the concentrated and mobile sperm bypass the cervix and vagina and are deposited directly into the uterus.

With an IUI, the fertility doctor monitors the woman cycle. At the time of ovulation, the man produces semen specimens that are prepared in the laboratory utilizing specialized enhancing solutions. The sperm must be prepared because unprepared semen contains prostaglandins, which can cause cramping of the uterus

The IUI procedure is simple, much like a Pap smear. The prepared sperm are placed in the uterus using a thin flexible tube (catheter) that is passed through the cervix and into the uterus.

IUI allows many more sperm than would usually make it into the uterus to get in there, which raises the odds of conception. From there, the sperm makes its way to the fallopian tubes, as it would after regular sexual intercourse. The risk of conceiving twins on IUI and Clomid is 11 percent, according to statistics from Shady Grove Fertility. The risk for triplets was less than 1 percent.

Clomid therapy alone and Clomid therapy with IUI are options for fertility treatment that have their own specific benefits, pregnancy success rates, risks of multiples and variable cost. It is important to discuss your particular situation with your fertility doctor to find out what is right for you.

Learn more about Fertility Success Rates.

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Comments (6)

Hi, I was diagnosed with stage 3 endometriosis in Oct. 2013, had lap done and they removed the endo. I had an IUI last month and took 150mg of clomid on CD4-8, with 5 follicles and had the IUI done on CD 21 as i was ovulating that day. It didnt take and i was almost 11days late on my period. This month they gave me letrozole and I had IUI done on CD 14, they said I already ovulated, which i think i did that morning because i was really really crampy... so now i am in the 2 week wait. My question is this, on both IUI cycles, i had no cervical mucus and they said it was a side effect of the medicine. I had no trigger shot (not even sure what that is) , what are my chances of IUI being successful with stage 3 endo, & no cervical mucus?

Hi Melanie,

Cervical mucus isn't really important when doing IUI because you bypass the cervix anyway. More concerning to me is that you did an IUI with 5 follicles (doctors usually cancel a cycle if you have more than 3 follicles) and it wasn't successful. How old are you and have you considered IVF? You might have better success with IVF. Give me a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229). I'd be happy to discuss further.

Best,
Kim

Hi Marilyn, You usually ovulate between 24-36 hours after taking the trigger shot, but it is best to consult your fertility doctor to be sure you are following his or her protocol for you. Best, Kim

Greetings, I will be taking chlomid, followed by trigger and IUI through clinic. As I have to travel interstate for the IUI, if day 10 falls on a friday (day of scan to check follicles) I would not be able to have my IUI until Monday. Could you please tell me what day I would take the trigger injection? Day 11 or the day before IUI? Also, Is there still a window of opportunity open to become pregnent if i had IUI 13 instead of 11? Thank you.

I have been trying to get pregnant. I took the 50 mg of Clomid days 3-7 and then i took my trigger shot of Ovidrel. 36 hours after the ovidrel I had an IUI done and that was it. My husband and I did NOT have any intercourse after that due to he had the flu badly. When i was scanned I had 4 really good follicles and then plus my trigger shot. With only doing hte IUI what are my chances of getting pregnant, and what are my chances of getting twins? Can anybody help me out?

Hi haydyn,

Only your doctor can give you an exact estimate of your odds for success, but typically if you are having an IUI with washed sperm and using the "best of the best" swimmers, you have better odds that way than regular intercourse. Hope your husband feels better!

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