Our Doctor told us that we have a 20% chance of success with our IUI treatment (Letrozole Day 3-7, Ovidrel trigger 36 hours before IUI procedure and progesterone suppositories (50mg) for two weeks after IUI). After three rounds, that would be a cumulative chance of success of 60%. But this probability is a calculated estimate based on many factors that our doctor knows about us. For example, if you were diagnosed with unexplained infertility the probabilities of success are lower than if you have been diagnosed with an ovulation related dysfunction. Age, number of years trying to conceive and sperm quality are all examples of other factors that will influence your probability of success.
There are many predictive models out there to determine likelihood of success of IUI. Each model seems to be slightly different, but in general they tend to range between 9-23% success for unexplained infertility, and the important factors that determine this success also seem to vary from model to model. This is probably the real reason why that if you were to google ‘the probability of IUI success’, you won’t find much of a straight or clear answer.
Why do I care? The difference between 10% (a one in ten chance) compared to 20% (a one in five chance), is psychologically different and I’d like to prepare myself for these seemingly different odds! I trust my doctor, but I want to know more about why it’s 20%.
I spent several hours trying to find something useful that explained the most recent stats. But the website with the most useful statistics explaining the different probabilities is www.advancedfertility.com. However, the website is confusing, statistics are hidden away in text paragraphs that require reading several times, multiple hyperlinks to different pages that break up ease of understanding, how recent is this information and it is not always clear where their statistics have come from.
If you google ‘the probability of IVF success’ there is a plethora of useful information and supporting data (because the govt mandates the data is collected by clinics), also there is a really good resource, Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (http://www.sart.org/) who summaries the most recent data at the clinic level and the national level. They even have a patient level ‘Predict my success’ interactive tool.
So, I herby call for greater transparency and clarity on IUI success rates, similar to what can be found online for IVF success rates. I’m not looking for exactness, just more openness.
If you know of good resources to help understand success rates of IUI, please comment below and share!