Couples dropping out of a reimbursed intrauterine insemination program: What is their prognostic profile and why do they drop out?

Inge M. Custers*, Thierry H.J.H.M. Van Dessel, Paul A. Flierman, Pieternel Steures, Madelon Van Wely, Fulco Van Der Veen, Ben W.J. Mol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate whether baseline characteristics and prognostic profiles differed between couples who drop out from intrauterine insemination (IUI) and couples that continue IUI, and the reasons for couples dropping out from IUI programs. Design: Retrospective observational cohort study. Setting: Fertility centers. Patient(s): Consecutive subfertile couples undergoing IUI. Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Characteristics and prognosis of ongoing pregnancy after IUI at the start of treatment of couples that dropped out compared with couples that continued treatment or achieved an ongoing pregnancy. Result(s): We studied 803 couples who underwent 3,579 IUI cycles of whom 221 couples dropped out (28%). Couples dropping out completed 2.8 (SD ±1.4) cycles per couple compared with 4.5 (SD ±2.3) cycles per couple for those continuing treatment. Couples dropping out had a higher female age, longer subfertility duration, and higher basal FSH. Mean prognosis to achieve an ongoing pregnancy after IUI at start of treatment was 7.9% (SD ±2.4) per cycle for couples who dropped out and 8.5% (SD ±2.5) per cycle for couples continuing treatment. Of the dropouts, 100 couples (45%) were actively censored from the IUI program, 87 couples (39%) because of poor prognosis; 121 couples (55%) were passively censored from the program, of whom 62 (28%) dropped out owing to personal reasons; 59 couples (27%) were lost to follow-up. Conclusion(s): We found significant differences in prognostic profile between couples continuing treatment and couples dropping out, although these differences seem limited from a clinical perspective. We conclude that overestimation of ongoing pregnancy rates after IUI due to couples dropping out is limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1294-1298
Number of pages5
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • dropout
  • intrauterine insemination
  • prognosis
  • Subfertility


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