CRH Infertility Specialists

Superovulation with Husband’s Sperm Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

IUI involves a much simpler preparation than IVF to stimulate multiple ovulations and prepare the sperm. Furthermore, ovulation is allowed to occur without an operation to collect the eggs, and the sperm are injected high into the uterus to reach the eggs in the fallopian tubes soon after the eggs have been released. Both superovulation, induced by gonadotropins, and intrauterine insemination (IUI) are frequent treatments for infertility.

A large-scale randomized trial compared the efficacy of these methods in 932 couples in which the sperm were motile and the woman had no apparent infertility factor. Randomization resulted in 231 couples receiving both superovulation and IUI, 234 receiving IUI alone, 234 receiving superovulation and intracervical insemination, and 233 receiving intracervical insemination (control subjects). Superovulation involved a standard protocol of FSH and human chorionic gonadotropin. Live-born infants were more common in both superovulation groups than when only intracervical insemination was performed.

Superovulation and IUI is often recommended as treatment to infertile couples at our Center; however we try to temper their expectations of success.  A 3-4-fold increase in pregnancy rates among couples who had superovulation and IUI compared with the control group (intracervical insemination without superovulation) was a success rate of greater magnitude than we formerly would have predicted. Our enthusiasm for the combined procedure was increased after the report of a randomized study in which superovulation and IUI was compared with no treatment in women with minimal or mild endometriosis.