What's Involved With an IUI?

What Are the Risks?

Women who are taking fertility medications in combination with an IUI may have the risk of more than one egg being fertilized. In fact, this is the primary risk.
While this may not seem like a big deal to some women who would welcome more than one baby, it's important to understand that there are risks associated with carrying multiple babies. For example, twins and multiples are more likely to be born premature (before 37 weeks of gestation). Premature babies have an increased risk for problems with breathing, vision, and hearing. Also, being pregnant with more than one baby carries risks for the mother, such as an increased risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and bleeding problems.
Research has shown that the chance of birth defects in those undergoing an IUI with the help of fertility medications is 2 percent to 4 percent. This is the same percentage of risk for birth defects for all children -- an IUI does not increase that risk. There is also a minimal risk for developing an infection after this procedure, but this risk is small.

What About Cost?

Another factor to keep in mind when considering an IUI is cost. If you are using a fertility clinic, compare costs, as prices can vary greatly from clinic to clinic. Also, check with your insurance company. Insurance coverage for infertility treatment varies significantly from company to company and state to state. Because the costs of fertility treatment can add up pretty quickly, check to see if your insurance will cover the costs of fertility medications, processing the sperm specimen, and the procedure itself.
Discussing financial limits with your partner can help you be prepared for the costs of trying to become pregnant. For some couples, this may be a limiting factor in how far they want to pursue fertility treatments.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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