Prashanth Fertility Research Centre

Why IUI Fails

Why IUI Fails

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IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) is one of the most preferred fertility treatments by many couples. It is less invasive than IVF and has a considerably higher success rate.

However, sometimes, your IUI cycle will fail, and you might not get pregnant. This is most common in couples who have an existing fertility or health condition.

However, you don’t need to worry too much about IUI failure. As long as you understand the cause of IUI failure and take the necessary steps, you can succeed in the treatment.

So, in this article, we will look into some of the most common causes of IUI failures and see what we can do about it.

Reasons For IUI Failure

IUI is one of the most advanced fertility treatment options that has given hope to many couples who couldn’t get pregnant through natural intercourse. When an IUI cycle fails, your fertility doctor will usually assess your condition and try to find out the cause of the failure. 

This can help you take the necessary steps and prevent those issues in future cycles. No, let’s look at some of the most common causes of IUI failures. 

Age-Related Factors

Your age is one of the main causes of IUI failure. As you know, your fertility decreases and your age increases. Your body will also start losing its strength and energy to carry a baby full term. 

Age can also lead to chromosomal abnormalities in the egg and sperm, affecting embryo quality and decreasing success rates.

Egg And Sperm Quality

No matter how much you try, if the quality of your eggs and your partner’s sperm are not good, you can’t achieve success in IUI. The egg and sperm quality determine the quality of the embryo.

If the embryo quality is not good, it can lead to issues like chromosomal abnormalities, implantation issues, etc.

Ovarian Response

The first step of your IUI is ovulation induction, where you will be given fertility medications to stimulate your ovaries and produce more mature, high-quality eggs.

If your ovaries do not respond well to the medications, they won’t produce enough or good-quality eggs, and the IUI cycle will be a failure.

Timing Of Insemination

The final step of IUI, the insemination procedure, should be timed correctly in accordance with your ovulation. If the timing is not right, you might miss the fertility window, and the sperm won’t be able to fertilize the egg. This can result in IUI failure.

Uterine Or Cervical Factors

Uterine receptivity is an important factor that determines a successful implantation. No matter how hard you try in your IUI cycle, if your uterus is not receptive enough to implant the incoming embryo, pregnancy won’t happen.

Other uterine and cervical factors like fibroids, scarring, and polyps can also affect implantation and IUI success.

Unexplained Infertility

Apart from known infertility issues, you might have other unexplained infertility problems that can cause IUI failure. You need to identify those issues to achieve success in your IUI cycle.


After ovulation, your body starts releasing progesterone hormones. These hormones prepare the uterus for implantation and support the developing embryo. Insufficient progesterone hormone levels can also cause IUI failures.

Immune System Disorders

Sometimes, if you have immunity problems, your antibodies might think the sperm is a foreign body and kill it. This can affect your pregnancy rate.

What Is The Maximum Number Of IUI Attempts?

On average, fertility doctors suggest you undergo at least 5 to 6 IUI cycles before trying for another fertility treatment. Your IUI success rate increases with each cycle. So, if one cycle fails, you have a higher chance of success in the next cycle.

However, if IUI doesn’t help you get pregnant, don’t waste time and money on it and choose advanced fertility treatment options like IVF, ICSI, etc. Discuss with your fertility doctor and choose the right fertility treatment for you.

Success Chances With IVF After Failed IUI

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is a more advanced fertility treatment than IUI. Here, both eggs and sperm are retrieved and fertilized in a laboratory. The developed embryo is then implanted into the uterus for implantation and pregnancy.

This procedure increases the chances of pregnancy by ensuring fertilization happens and the embryo is of the best quality. So, naturally, the success rate of IVF is considerably higher than that of IUI, where there is minimal to no guarantee of fertilization and embryo quality.

Consult A Different Doctor And Have An Opinion

Remember that the fertility doctor and hospital you choose also play a vital part in the success of your IUI treatments. If your current fertility doctor cannot give you the desired result after several tries, you can try consulting a different doctor for your IUI treatments.  Ensure you thoroughly research the doctor you are going to consult. Check their past patient reviews, their specialization, and expertise in the field. 


IUI can fail for multiple reasons, as we discussed above. If your IUI cycle fails, don’t panic and give up on it. Identify the root cause of the issue, take the necessary treatments, and try again.

If IUI does not work for you, you can go for advanced fertility treatment options like IVF, ICSI, etc. So don’t worry if you can’t get pregnant. Your fertility doctor will ensure you get pregnant and have your own baby.


On average, for a woman under 35 years of age, the success rate of IUI increases by 10–20% for each cycle. So, by the third IUI cycle, the woman will have about a 30–60% success rate.

Yes, though chances are minimal, it is possible for couples to get pregnant naturally after a failed IUI. This is especially true for couples who had minor fertility issues that were treated during the IUI treatments.

If you have experienced a few failed IUI cycles and wish to undergo IVF, it is best to give some two or three months gap before trying. Give your body and mind adequate time to recover from the previous cycles before starting your IVF treatments. 

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