More than 17,000 intrauterine insemination (lUI) cycles were analysed retrospectively with respect to outcome according to differing aetiologies of infertility. The quantity and motility of spermatozoa in the final preparation used for insemination had a positive effect on the outcome, as classically observed in the past. It was found that advanced maternal age had a negative effect on the pregnancy rate and was associated with increased miscarriage rate. More interestingly, an exactly parallel effect was found for paternal age. The impact of increased age on necrospermia and sperm DNA structure is discussed as a probable direct cause of this paternal effect.