chance at IUI
2 Replies
lee905 - November 9

Hi Dr.. I am new at posting on these boards, but I thought maybe you could answer a quick question. I am supposed to see my RE on Tues, but I am getting really impatient! Me & DH have been ttc for 15 months. We have done blood tests on me, it looks like I am Oing & all of that... I had an HSG no blockage... but my hubby's SA seems low. First one done in Aug was 26 mil 33% mot & 12% normal morph, second one done this month was 12 mil & 18% normal morph (don't remember mot). Do you think that we would have a good chance at an IUI? If a wash of his stuff is done... how do you figure out what the count would be. Could you say 18% of 12 million? So maybe we would have a post wash of 2.16 mil? Thanks for any advice.


Dr Smith - November 9

We recover approximately 20% of the motile sperm from the "washed" semen - actually, these days, we use density gradient centrifugation, not "washing" per se. But you don't need to know that. There's no quiz at the end. Sooo, your calculation is pretty close to what I would expect to get in the final prep. We start to see pregnancies when a minimum of 2 million motile sperm (not a concentration, the actual number of motile sperm used in the insemination) is used for insemination. As you would expect, the pregnancy rate increases as more and more motile sperm are used for insemination. This rule of thumb holds up to 10 million motile sperm. Higher than 10 million does not result in a higher pregnancy rate.

Q: Why does it take 10 million sperm to fertilize the egg?
A: They won't stop and ask for directions.

O.K., all kidding aside. With 2 million motile sperm, you are at the low end of the probability of success from IUI. I have seen pregnancies resulting from insemination of 2 million motile sperm, but they are pretty rare.

If you do decide to give IUI a chance, I would not try for more than a couple of stimulated cycles. If it doesn't work after two tries, jump to IVF. I think IVF is your best bet for pregnancy.


lee905 - November 9

Thank you so much for your responce (even though it was not better news), & for taking the time to answer all of our questions on this board. It is really helpful to read everyone's posts. Thanks again.



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