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IUI cost: Artificial insemination and how to fit it in your budget

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.

Picture of baby born through IUI

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 ItemAverage CostNotes
Estrogen Modulator Drug (Letrozole/ Clomid)$100Can be used in addition to or instead of injectable fertility drug
Injectable Fertility Drug (ovulation stimulators)$2,000May be used in addition to or instead of an estrogen modulator drug
Trigger Shot (self-injected)$50 – $250You have a choice between self-injected and injected by a nurse
Trigger Shot (injected by a nurse)$100 – $400You have a choice between self-injected and injected by a nurse
Blood and Ultrasound Monitoring$500 – $1,000Gives you insight into your cycle and offers doctors the ability to adjust your dose to increase your chances of success
In-Office Insemination$150 – $400You may be able to do two inseminations in a single cycle
TOTAL AVERAGE COST$3,300This 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. 

picture of woman thinking about options after IUI cost analysis

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? 

In summary

I hope this article has helped you understand the following:

  1. IUI is a nonsurgical first-line fertility treatment procedure.
  2. Intrauterine insemination can occur with or without ovulation induction.
  3. 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.

Martha Bautista-Biddle - Writer Pasito

Martha Bautista-Biddle

Martha Bautista-Biddle is a psychotherapist and psychology doctoral student at the University of Denver. She is passionate about writing, research, and supporting adolescents, adults, and families on their journey towards feeling better. She strives for cultural competence and social justice, especially in the area of LGBTQ rights. Martha, her wife Candice, and their terrier mix Theo live in Denver, Colorado.

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