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How successful is intrauterine insemination after failed IVF? A study of 551 women.

RESEARCH QUESTION: What is the success rate of intrauterine insemination (IUI) after failing IVF?

DESIGN: This retrospective cohort study evaluated the pregnancy outcomes of 551 patients who underwent a total of 992 IUI cycles at an academic fertility centre between October 2008 and April 2018.

RESULTS: The study participants (n = 551) had previously failed one to three fresh IVF cycles and any resultant embryo transfers, and subsequently underwent a total of 992 IUI cycles. When comparing demographics, women with ongoing pregnancies, clinical pregnancies and positive pregnancies were significantly younger (P = 0.037, P = 0.025 and P = 0.049, respectively) compared with women who did not conceive. The cumulative ongoing pregnancy rate for all IUI cycles was 7.44% per patient (41 pregnancies in 551 patients), and the ongoing pregnancy rate after the first IUI cycle was 4.72%. In single women who had previously failed six IUI cycles before undergoing IVF cycles with donor sperm, the cumulative ongoing pregnancy rate was 15.8% in donor sperm IUI cycles compared with 5.1% in women who used their partner's sperm for both IVF and IUI cycles, with an adjusted odds ratio of 6.1. Patient age, number of previous pregnancies, daily gonadotrophin dose for IVF, number of mature follicles at trigger, and number of failed IVF cycles failed to predict pregnancy outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Ongoing pregnancy following IUI after failed IVF occurs at a rate of approximately 5% per cycle, and this rate is higher if donor sperm is used for both IVF and IUI cycles. This can be considered with proper counselling in women aged <40 years, and may be discouraged in women aged ≥43 years.

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