Although intrauterine insemination is often offered to couples with unexplained infertility, until now there have been no studies to show benefit.
IUI is a form of fertility treatment in which sperm are injected directly into the uterus. The procedure was less invasive and cheaper than in vitro fertilisation (IVF). One cycle of IVF has about the same effectiveness of three or four IUI cycles.
A total of 201 couples were involved in the study between March 2013 and May 2016. Half continued to try and get pregnant naturally, while the others were given up to three IUI cycles. In total, the IUI group had 31 live births, compared to nine in the other group.
Professor Farquhar says the results offer hope to couples trying to conceive. It is a simpler, gentler treatment than IVF.
“This is the first clinical trial of intrauterine insemination with clomiphene citrate to show benefit. Previous studies either did not use ovarian stimulation or did not include women who were truly infertile,” Professor Farquhar says.