When thinking about IUI treatment cost, where do you start?
Navigating the world of fertility treatments can feel overwhelming. IUI treatment cost isn’t always clear. There are so many acronyms and types of treatments that it is easy to get lost. On top of that, everyone’s situation is unique. In this article, I’m going to describe what IUI is, how it may be used, and the cost of intrauterine insemination.
If a heterosexual couple is having difficulty conceiving, IUI or artificial insemination is often the first procedure to try. For lesbian couples, it is one of the most affordable and typical routes of achieving biological offspring.
But what is IUI, and is it affordable for your family?
IUI, which stands for intrauterine insemination, is also sometimes called artificial insemination or alternative insemination. Intrauterine insemination is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that can take as little as 5 minutes. During the procedure, a doctor uses a mechanical device similar to an oral syringe to inject sperm from a male partner or donor directly into the uterus. This gives the sperm a “head start” and may increase your chances of becoming pregnant. The procedure must happen at a certain time in your cycle, and pinpointing the exact time can require monitoring.
You may also need to take fertility medication to increase your chances of success. If you have experienced continued fertility difficulties, your doctor may recommend a process called ovulation induction. Ovulation induction is required when your ovary needs some help to mature and release eggs. The procedure involves hormone treatment to stimulate the release of multiple eggs before sperm is injected. Traditional IUI without ovulation induction has a success rate of 10 to 20 percent. However, intrauterine insemination with ovulation induction has a 20 to 25 percent success rate.
When is intrauterine insemination recommended?
IUI can be a very useful tool for fertility treatment. Artificial insemination is often recommended for the following cases:
- Infertility caused by ovulation difficulties
- Infertility caused by mild endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS)
- Mild male factor infertility
- Single women starting a family
- Lesbian or queer couples starting a family
IUI or artificial insemination is not recommended and often not effective when used for the following reasons:
- Severe male factor infertility
- Severe endometriosis or pelvic scarring
- Blockage of both fallopian tubes
IUI cost: What is the cost of intrauterine insemination?
Artificial insemination cost can vary significantly. If you find yourself asking “what is the cost of intrauterine insemination,” it is important to think through your fertility diagnosis. Your family’s demographics are also important.
Traditional or natural IUI may be a great choice for a lesbian couple or for single women using a sperm donor. However, for a heterosexual couple with an infertility diagnosis, IUI is typically combined with ovulation induction. Ovulation induction increases the rate of success in some cases, and it also increases the overall artificial insemination cost. The chart below outlines how much IUI may cost for your family per round of treatment.
IUI cost: The cost of a single round of IUI with ovulation induction
|Cost Line Item||Average Cost||Notes|
|Estrogen Modulator Drug (Letrozole/ Clomid)||$100||Can be used in addition to or instead of injectable fertility drug|
|Injectable Fertility Drug (ovulation stimulators)||$2,000||May be used in addition to or instead of an estrogen modulator drug|
|Trigger Shot (self-injected)||$50 – $250||You have a choice between self-injected and injected by a nurse|
|Trigger Shot (injected by a nurse)||$100 – $400||You have a choice between self-injected and injected by a nurse|
|Blood and Ultrasound Monitoring||$500 – $1,000||Gives you insight into your cycle and offers doctors the ability to adjust your dose to increase your chances of success|
|In-Office Insemination||$150 – $400||You may be able to do two inseminations in a single cycle|
|TOTAL AVERAGE COST||$3,300||This is the average cost of IUI without insurance. Your specific cost and insurance coverage may vary.|
IUI Cost: The cost of a single round of IUI without ovulation induction
Without ovulation induction, the base cost of intrauterine insemination sits at around $650 per round. This makes IUI quite affordable at face value. However, the true cost depends on why your family is seeking traditional IUI. If you will be using a sperm donor, there are a whole host of costs associated with that process. Costs vary widely, but a vial of donor sperm can generally cost between $900 and $1,000. Using a known donor can be even more expensive, and can involve extensive testing, eligibility, and storage costs. Therefore, it’ll be really important to check with your insurance company to see what they cover, and what they don’t. At most steps of the process, you have options to reduce costs by working in partnership with your doctor.
What happens if IUI doesn’t work?
IUI is often the first-line treatment for infertility. If artificial insemination does not work, you can undergo IVF (in vitro fertilization). Most people first try IUI for a few rounds (sometimes traditional IUI, then IUI with ovulation induction). If you are not successful after a few rounds, that may be a good time to shift to looking into IVF. IVF is much more costly than IUI and may not be covered by your insurance. Make sure you are in the know in terms of what your specific insurance covers, and do your research about costs as part of the family planning process.
Phew, you may be feeling overwhelmed with all this information. I know I am!
Extra reading on IUI
If you’re looking for more information, or for a first-hand account paired with a bit of science, I recommend the book The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood by Belle Bogs. My wife and I read it while on the beach during our honeymoon. We found it very insightful and moving and think about this book a lot when planning our future family. How long should we wait? What treatments will we need? What will the costs be, financially and emotionally?
I hope this article has helped you understand the following:
- IUI is a nonsurgical first-line fertility treatment procedure.
- Intrauterine insemination can occur with or without ovulation induction.
- IUI treatment cost varies widely on the reason you are seeking the treatment. However, IUI costs tend to be far more affordable than in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The path to building a family can be a long and winding road. It may be more complicated and involve more treatments than you had imagined. Let Pasito’s team help you along the way.
Refer Pasito to your company to help take some of the financial stress off your shoulders. Through personalized benefits and financial guidance, Pasito increases the value of your company’s overall compensation package and helps you cut down on thousands of taxes annually. These tax savings can then be distributed elsewhere (think: IUI treatments), thus increasing your financial wellness.
Disclaimer: We try our best to provide you helpful content. However, we do not offer financial, legal, or tax advice. Please speak with a professional about your personal situation.