By Laura Garrido BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 08/31/2015

The artificial insemination (AI) or intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedure may be successful and lead to pregnancy or, conversely, it may end up with no luck so far, in which case the causes why successful results are not achieved should be analyzed again. Most influencing factors for the success or failure of artificial insemination are:

  • Woman’s age
  • Male sperm quality
  • Endometrial thickness
  • Duration of sterility
  • Ovulation induction treatments

The success rate for artificial insemination by partner among women under age 35 varies from 15 to 20 per cent, while artificial insemination by donor (AID) reaches 30%.

Usually, you must wait 12 to 16 days after the insemination and then take a pregnancy test, which will detect your hCG hormone levels. The hCG hormone, also known as the pregnancy hormone, either in urine or in blood.

To confirm that you are indeed pregnant, your hCG hormone levels should be above 20mIU/ml for urine and 25mIU/ml for blood approximately. Results close to 10mIU/ml may indicate a biochemical pregnancy, whereas lower values mean pregnancy has not been achieved, that is to say, a failed artificial insemination cycle.

Cumulative pregnancy rates

When several artificial insemination cycles are performed, that is, a series of AI cycles in a row, conception rates do increase. A maximum of 4 cycles are conducted before resorting to another Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). In case pregnancy has not been achieved after 4 cycles, or in case it is not full-term, the cause must be analyzed before using any other ART so that the most advisable one is chosen.

After four consecutive inseminations, success rates of an AIH (artificial insemination by husband) may reach 60%, while if it’s a DI (donor insemination), rates increase to 60-70%.

The effect of age on fertility

As mentioned earlier, age is one of the most influential factors in any artificial insemination cycle. Not only because of the artificial insemination itself or the oocyte quantity and quality but also due to the endometrium, since achieving the ideal endometrial thickness so that the developed embryo is able to implant becomes increasingly complicated as women get older.

Thus, the pregnancy rate per cycle among women under 40 and over 34 is 4%, while it stands at 0.5% among women between 40 and 45. As stated earlier, from the age of 35 and older, the ovarian reserve diminishes; therefore, chances for an egg being fertilized by sperm are greatly reduced, especially from 40 years old onwards.

Furthermore, the man’s age also has an influence. Although sperm quality and quantity decline, it is not as considerable as in the case of women. The fertilizing capacity of spermatozoa diminishes eventually, which means that both the sperm motility and the sperm morphology of a 50-year-old man are lower than those of a 25-year-old boy.

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Authors and contributors

 Laura Garrido
BSc, MSc
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Pablo de Olavide University (UPO) of Seville, Spain. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV) and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Experience at IVF, andrology, and general analysis laboratories. Embryologist specialized in Assisted Reproduction. More information
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One comment

    1. Rose

      Hello, I’m in doubt if I will have to repay in case my first artificial insemination cycle is unsuccessful or if it is foreseen when they give you the prices at the beginning until you achieve pregnancy. Thanks!