Fertility study shows cheaper treatment is effective

November 28, 2017 by Anna Kellett, University of Auckland

New University of Auckland research has found couples may not need to undergo invasive and expensive IVF to get pregnant, with other less-invasive procedures proving more effective.

The study, which compared with expectant management for women with no reason for their infertility, has been published in the prestigious journal The Lancet.

Lead author Professor Cindy Farquhar of the University's Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, says the research found intrauterine (IUI) combined with clomiphene, a medication used to treat women who did not ovulate, was three times more effective than continuing to try to get pregnant without .

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 or did not include women who were truly infertile," Professor Farquhar says.

Around 40 percent of infertile have unexplained infertility, which means they have no obvious explanation for their delay in conceiving.

Explore further: Standard treatment better than proposed alternative for unexplained infertility

More information: Cynthia M Farquhar et al. Intrauterine insemination with ovarian stimulation versus expectant management for unexplained infertility (TUI): a pragmatic, open-label, randomised, controlled, two-centre trial, The Lancet (2017). DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32406-6

Related Stories

Standard treatment better than proposed alternative for unexplained infertility

September 23, 2015
Treatment with clomiphene, a standard therapy for couples with unexplained infertility, results in more live births than treatment with a potential alternative, letrozole, according to a study of more than 900 couples conducted ...

Back to the future: The most efficient option for treating unexplained infertility

July 3, 2017
An inexpensive fertility drug, which has been available for more than 50 years and can be taken orally, has proved as effective as other more costly hormones when used for ovarian stimulation before intrauterine stimulation ...

Positive outlook for couples with fertility difficulties

August 30, 2017
Young couples who fear they are infertile may just need more time rather than costly treatments, University of Otago research shows.

Three in four women starting fertility treatment will have a baby within five years

July 4, 2016
Three in four women starting fertility treatment will have a baby within five years, whether as a result of the treatment or following natural conception. The figures emerged from a large cohort study analysing the birth ...

Older infertile couples should try in vitro fertilization first, study says

May 6, 2014
(HealthDay)—Middle-aged couples who want to have a baby but are having trouble conceiving should go straight to in vitro fertilization (IVF), skipping other types of fertility treatment, a new clinical trial recommends.

Recommended for you

Discovery promises improved diagnosis and understanding of endometriosis

March 19, 2018
Feinstein Institute for Medical Research scientists announced an experimental, rapid and non-invasive way to diagnose endometriosis, which may lead to earlier and more effective treatments for this disorder that affects approximately ...

Vaginal estrogen tablets, moisturizers and placebo gel all can improve vaginal discomfort

March 19, 2018
A clinical trial comparing two treatments for postmenopausal vaginal discomfort - low-dose vaginal estrogen and a vaginal moisturizer - to placebo treatments found that both produced symptom improvements similar to those ...

Frozen embryos more successful for conceiving during IVF

March 19, 2018
A new study carried out by a research team at The University of Western Australia and Fertility Specialists of Western Australia has found that women undergoing IVF who have had embryos fail to implant have more success using ...

Alomst 70 percent of 103 genes linked to prenatal death affect the placenta

March 14, 2018
The role of the placenta in healthy fetal development is being seriously under-appreciated according to a new paper published today (14th March). The study was part of the Wellcome Trust-funded "Deciphering the Mechanisms ...

New research shows why babies need to move in the womb

March 12, 2018
Scientists have just discovered why babies need to move in the womb to develop strong bones and joints. It turns out there are some key molecular interactions that are stimulated by movement and which guide the cells and ...

Labour–inducing drugs put to the test

February 27, 2018
Researchers comparing the use of two drugs for pregnant women who do not go into labour shortly after their waters break have found both are reasonable options.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.