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Houston Fertility Center

Are Simple Fertility Treatments Pointless?

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on September 29, 2008

A few weeks back, the news was all about a UK study that pronounced simplistically that Clomid with IUI is ineffective for treating infertility. Of course, we know there's more to it than that.

Part of the problem is the media's often too quick with inaccurate, alarmist headlines. They may need to squeeze too much info into too small a space. It also may be that a lot of reporters just don't understand the complexities of infertility treatment.

If such a thing as a "magic pill" to promote pregnancy existed, the whole world would be entirely different. The truth is that clomiphene citrate (Clomid is only one of the drug's brand names) works for some, but not for most. The same might be said of intrauterine insemination (IUI).

A number of large studies, both single-center and collaborations of different fertility clinics, have demonstrated the limits of clomiphene citrate (CC), with and without IUI.

Should patients completely bypass this treatment option?

Contrary to what headlines would imply, there's simply no one answer for everyone. A thorough diagnostic process is a must, even in cases that -- once the results are in -- will call for very minimal medical assistance.

For each and every fertility patient, time is valuable. All should keep in mind that infertility treatment does not get easier or less expensive as the woman ages. I strongly advise against spinning your wheels (and spending your money) on too many cycles of CC/IUI.

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