Is it Worth it to Have Artificial Insemination?
When you’re considering any elective medical procedure, you need to know the risks, and weigh them against the benefits. The choice of whether or not to have an elective procedure is very personal, and every person will make their choice differently. Here, we’ll discuss the major risks and benefits of having artificial insemination, either intrauterine insemination (IUI) or the less-common intracervical insemination (ICI).
Artificial insemination is a technique in which sperm are introduced into a woman’s reproductive tract for the purposes of causing pregnancy. It may be used when a woman is attempting to conceive with donor sperm, or in those with certain types of infertility. For more on what it’s like to have artificial insemination, please see Artificial Insemination: the Procedure and Recovery.
Please note that this page is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for qualified, individualized medical advice. You should discuss your potential elective procedure with your own doctor(s), including your primary care physician and the provider who will perform your procedure if you decide to proceed.
Any treatment has risks, and it’s important to be aware of them so that you can weigh them against the benefits. For artificial insemination, the treatment itself carries few risks. The procedure may induce some mild cramping in some women, but is rarely painful. It does require that the woman rest, lying on her back, for at least 20 minutes or longer after the sperm are introduced into her cervix or uterus.
The main risk of artificial insemination is that it won’t result in a pregnancy. After spending the time, effort, and money necessary to undergo the procedure, there are no guarantees that a pregnancy, much less a baby, will result. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the success rates for IUI are around 20% per cycle, though it may vary significantly depending on your age, diagnosis, and other factors. If it’s not successful, the procedure is usually repeated several times before moving on to another type of fertility procedure (such as IVF).
If the woman takes medications for ovulation induction before the artificial insemination procedure, then there will be risks associated with those medications; please see the Ovulation Induction: Risks and Benefits page for more information.
The benefit of artificial insemination is that, if it’s successful, pregnancy can be achieved in a way that’s less costly and relatively less invasive than many other ART procedures. Conception will take place in its natural environment (in the mother’s fallopian tubes). If ovulation induction medications are not used, artificial insemination does not carry an increased risk of multiple births (as many ART procedures do).
The cost for ICI is around $200 to $400, not including fertility medications (which usually aren’t necessary if ICI has been chosen over IUI). For IUI, the cost including the medications is around $5,000. This cost varies depending on several factors, including the region and the particular clinic. You should check with the provider(s) you’re considering to determine the exact cost. Keep in mind that financing is often available. For more detail, visit our Artificial Insemination Cost page.