Does empiric superovulation improve fecundity in healthy women undergoing therapeutic donor insemination without a male partner?

Empiric superovulation does not improve fecundity in healthy women undergoing donor insemination. After three cycles of unmedicated inseminations, crossover to medication was associated with improvement in pregnancy rate.

Volume 113, Issue 1, Pages 114–120


Leah Hawkins Bressler, M.D., M.P.H., Brittany Papworth, M.D., Sarah Moustafa, M.D., Audrey Chang, B.A., Jennifer E. Mersereau, M.D., M.S.C.I.



To evaluate whether superovulation improves fecundity in women undergoing therapeutic donor insemination (TDI).


Retrospective cohort study.


University-affiliated fertility clinic.


Healthy women aged 23–45 years with no history of or risk factors for infertility who underwent 152 medicated and 104 unmedicated TDI cycles from 2013 to 2018.


Unmedicated TDI versus use of medication in a TDI cycle (clomiphene citrate or letrozole).

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Cumulative probability of pregnancy in six TDI cycles.


In adjusted all-cycle analysis, medicated TDI cycles were less likely to result in pregnancy compared with unmedicated cycles. The incidence of twins was 23% in the medicated group and 0% in the unmedicated group. Medicated cycles were less likely to result in pregnancy in women younger than 40 years or with an antimüllerian hormone (AMH) level >1.2. After three cycles not resulting in pregnancy, the only women who conceived were those who crossed over from an unmedicated to a medicated cycle (12% vs. 0%).


Patients undergoing unmedicated TDI cycles had higher fecundity and no incidence of twin gestations. Older women, those with low AMH, and those who fail to conceive after three unmedicated cycles may benefit from medication.

Read the full text here.

Please sign in or register for FREE

Your Fertility and Sterility Dialog login information is not the same as your ASRM or EES credentials. Users must create a separate account to comment or interact on the Dialog.

Go to the profile of Emily Barnard
almost 3 years ago

Congratulations to the authors on a great paper! Your article was selected for a #tweetorial this week by the Fertility and Sterility Interactive Associates. We would love to continue the conversation on Twitter with you! 

Go to the profile of Emily Barnard
almost 3 years ago

#Tweetorial Link

Go to the profile of Marine Poulain
almost 3 years ago

Dear authors, thank you for this great retrospective study. This is a really important question considering that patient are not considered as infertile. Regarding the high risk of twins in the medicated group, do you have any data on the psychological impact of a multiple versus single pregnancy in the group of single women using ART?