Cost-effectiveness of infertility treatments: a cohort study

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Fertil Steril

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Fertility and sterility

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


Start Page


End Page



OBJECTIVE: To determine the cost-effectiveness of infertility treatments. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Academic medical center infertility practice. PATIENT(S): All patients treated for infertility in a 1-year time span. INTERVENTION(S): Intrauterine inseminations, clomiphene citrate and IUI (CC-IUI), hMG and IUI (hMG-IUI), assisted reproductive techniques (ART), and neosalpingostomy by laparotomy. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): All medical charges and pregnancy outcomes associated with the treatments were obtained. Cost-effectiveness ratios defined as cost per delivery were determined for each procedure. The effects of a woman's age and the number of spermatozoa inseminated on cost-effectiveness of the procedures was also determined. RESULT(S): Intrauterine inseminations, CC-IUI, and hMG-IUI have a similar cost per delivery of between $7,800 and $10,300. All of these were more cost-effective than ART, which had a cost per delivery of $37,000. Assisted reproductive techniques in women with blocked fallopian tubes was more cost-effective than tubal surgery performed by laparotomy, which had a cost per delivery of $76,000. Increasing age in women and lower numbers of spermatozoa inseminated were factors leading to higher costs per delivery for IUI, CC-IUI, hMG-IUI, and ART. Use of donor oocytes reduced the cost per delivery of older women to the range seen in younger women with ART. CONCLUSION(S): Our analysis supports, in general, the use of IUI, CC-IUI, and hMG-IUI before ART in women with open fallopian tubes. For women with blocked fallopian tubes, IVF-ET appears to be the best treatment from a cost-effectiveness standpoint.


Clomiphene/therapeutic use, Cohort Studies, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Embryo Transfer/economics, Fallopian Tube Diseases/complications/surgery, Female, Fertilization in Vitro/economics, Humans, Infertility/economics/therapy, Infertility, Female/etiology/therapy, Insemination, Artificial, Homologous/economics, Male, Menotropins/therapeutic use, Ovulation Induction/economics, Pregnancy, Reproductive Techniques/economics

Published Article/Book Citation

Fertility and sterility, 67:5 (1997) pp.830-836.

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