Why do infertile couples waste money on repeated IUI cycles ?

One of the commonest treatment options for infertile patients is IUI or intrauterine insemination.

Now this is not because it's the right treatment option, but often this is the only treatment which a lot of gynecologists can offer , because all gynecologists now call themselves infertility specialists as well.

After doing a laparoscopy, this is the only treatment option which they can do, because they have nothing else to offer. Part of the problem is that they don't want to lose their patients by referring them to an IVF specialist , even though they know that IVF is the right treatment for them.

As a result , they end up doing repeated IUI cycles for their patients - and this is especially heartbreaking for patients who aren't going to benefit from IUI at all , because all their time , money and energy goes down the drain. Thus, IUI is a useless treatment for patients with a low sperm count, but doctors are happy to advice this to them by explaining we will improve your sperm quality by washing the sperm, and IUI is much better than IVF because its much less expensive !

Patients get older as they do cycle after cycle, and the cruel irony is that their chances of getting pregnant with IVF also goes down because of this delay ! Even worse, they start losing confidence in doctors, because they're not sophisticated enough to differentiate between an IVF specialist and a gynecologist who calls himself an infertility specialist !

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Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.