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11-04-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Nasal oxytocin does not increase success of IUI


Free abstract

MedWire News: The application of intranasal oxytocin (8 IU) after a cycle of intrauterine insemination (IUI) does not increase pregnancy rates, researchers report.

The team hypothesized that 8 IU oxytocin would increase pregnancy rates after IUI since previous studies have linked oxytocin with an increase in the frequency of uterine contraction waves, thus potentially increasing rapid and directed sperm ascension.

“The absence of any trend of oxytocin action in terms of pregnancy rates may be important information for clinicians, researchers, and women requesting additional therapies with IUI,” suggest Robert Ochsenkühn and colleagues from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany.

The team randomly assigned 86 couples with unexplained fertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, or male partner sub-fertility, to receive either two nasal applications of 8 IU oxytocin (n = 65) or placebo (n = 67) immediately after undergoing an IUI cycle.

The difference in pregnancy rates per IUI cycle between the oxytocin and placebo groups was non-significant, at 12.3 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively. The overall pregnancy rate per cycle was 12.9 percent, and no adverse side effects were reported.

“This study does not exclude that a larger patient group, a different time interval between oxytocin application and IUI, higher or multiple applications or a different way of application would have achieved different effects on pregnancy rates,” conclude Ochsenkühn and team.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a part of Springer Science+Business Media. © Current Medicine Group Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy