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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.