Clomiphene citrate and intrauterine insemination: analysis of more than 4100 cycles

Fertil Steril. 2008 Dec;90(6):2281-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.10.057. Epub 2008 Jan 14.


Objective: To evaluate the outcomes of a large cohort of patients undergoing fertility treatment with clomiphene citrate and intrauterine insemination.

Design: A retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Boston IVF, a large university-affiliated reproductive medicine practice.

Patient(s): A total of 4,199 cycles performed in 1,738 infertility patients between September 2002 and July 2007.

Intervention(s): All patients received oral clomiphene citrate, and patients with completed cycles had intrauterine insemination performed.

Main outcome measure(s): Cumulative and per cycle pregnancy rates achieved among subsets of patients defined by age, completed cycles, and intention to treat (ITT).

Result(s): For women under age 35 years, 2,351 cycles were initiated in 983 patients. A total of 238 pregnancies ensued, yielding a pregnancy rate (PR) per completed cycle of 11.5% and 10.1% per cycle initiated with ITT. In women aged 35-37 years, 947 cycles in 422 women lead to a PR per completed cycle and ITT of 9.2% and 8.2%, respectively. For patients aged 38-40 years, 614 cycles in 265 women lead to a PR per completed cycle and ITT of 7.3% and 6.5%, respectively. In women aged 41-42 years, 166 cycles in 81 patients lead to a PR per completed cycle and ITT of 4.3% and 3.6%, respectively. For women above age 42 years, 120 cycles in 55 patients lead to a PR per completed cycle and ITT of 1.0% and 0.8%, respectively. On a per-patient treated basis, cumulative PRs were 24.2% under age 35, 18.5% ages 35-37, and 15.1% ages 38-40, whereas only 7.4% ages 41-42 and 1.8% above 42 became pregnant (one pregnancy in 55 patients).

Conclusion(s): As anticipated, younger patients have a higher PR per cycle than older patients. The PR per cycle for patients who initiate only one or only two treatment cycles is notably higher than the corresponding per cycle rates for cycles 3 through 9. The drop in success per patient among 41- and 42-year-olds is sharp, but the exceptionally low success rate above age 42 suggests that CC with IUI has virtually no place in their treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Clomiphene / administration & dosage
  • Clomiphene / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Fertility Agents, Female / administration & dosage
  • Fertility Agents, Female / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infertility / therapy*
  • Insemination, Artificial*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovulation Induction*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Fertility Agents, Female
  • Clomiphene