Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine how female age at the end of the reproductive spectrum effects success of natural cycle intrauterine insemination (IUI) or IUI in combination with ovarian stimulation. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of women 43 years of age and older at the time of IUI in a single academic fertility center between January 2011 and March 2018. Primary outcomes were both pregnancies and live births per cycle of IUI. Data are presented as percentage or mean ± SD. Fisher exact and chi-squared analyses were performed. Results: There were 9334 IUI cycles conducted during the study period. Of these cycles, 325 IUIs (3.5%) were for women aged 43 years and over at the time of insemination (43.6 ± 0.8, range 43 to 47 years). Analysis of these 325 IUI cycles revealed 5 biochemical pregnancies (1.5%) and only 1 live birth (0.3%). The pregnancy rate did not differ between IUIs using donor sperm (N = 1/49, 2.0%) compared to IUIs with partner sperm (N = 4/276, 1.4%). The pregnancy rate did not differ between IUIs with gonadotropins (N = 2/211, 0.9%), clomiphene or letrozole (N = 2/78, 2.6%), or natural cycle (N = 1/36, 2.8%). Conclusions: The use of intrauterine inseminations in women 43 years of age and older is an ineffective treatment strategy. This is irrespective of the use of ovarian stimulation or donor sperm. Costly gonadotropin injections did not increase the chance of pregnancy nor did oral medication when compared to natural cycle IUIs.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
- Older women
- Ovarian stimulation