Delayed timing of intrauterine insemination results in a significantly improved pregnancy rate in female partners of quadriplegic men

Jon L. Pryor, Paul H. Kuneck, Selina M. Blatz, Cindy Thorp, Charles E. Cornwell, Douglas T. Carrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: To review pregnancy rates obtained with three protocols used during development of a successful therapy for infertility in couples in which the male partner had spinal cord injury. Design: Retrospective chart review. Setting: Private infertility center. Patient(s): Eleven quadriplegic men and their spouses undergoing intrauterine insemination. Intervention(s): Protocol 1: Intrauterine insemination was performed 24 hours after the LH surge was detected in unstimulated cycles. Sperm were prepared by standard sperm washing. Protocol 2: Female partners were stimulated with clomiphene citrate and hCG. Sperm were inseminated 32-34 hours after hCG injection. Sperm preparation was by serum swim-up or density gradient preparation. Protocol 3: Identical to protocol 2, except the insemination was delayed to 38-40 hours after hCG injection. Main Outcome Measure(s): Pregnancy rates. Result(s): Five patients were enrolled into protocol 1 and underwent a total of 19 inseminations with no subsequent pregnancies. They then underwent protocol 2, but no pregnancies resulted from inseminations. Four of the original couples, along with six additional couples, underwent insemination in protocol 3. A total of 19 inseminations were performed, and 6 of the 10 patients (60%) became pregnant. The success of insemination at 38-40 hours after hCG administration was significantly better than that of the initial two protocols (P<.05). No differences were observed in sperm quality between protocol 2 and protocol 3. Overall, 73% (8 of 11) of the patients became pregnant. Conclusion(s): Intrauterine insemination 38-40 hours after the hCG injection results in an improved chance of pregnancy. These results indicate that many couples with spinal cord injury-associated male infertility can be treated with intrauterine insemination of sperm treated by serum swim-up, with a high probability of success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1130-1135
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Density gradient centrifugation
  • Electroejaculation
  • HCG surge
  • Intrauterine insemination
  • Quadriplegic
  • Serum swim-up
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Vibratory stimulation


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