Purpose: A modified application technique of intrauterine insemination (IUI) is slow release insemination (SRI), first described by Muharib et al. (Hum Reprod 7(2):227-229, 1992), who postulated higher pregnancy rates with a slow release of spermatozoa for 3 h.
Methods: To investigate this approach, two randomized controlled, cross-over pilot studies were performed from 2004 to 2006 in Israel and Germany to compare SRI with the standard bolus IUI. We aimed to present the results and perform a meta-analysis on available data for SRI. Univariate comparisons of pregnancy rates were performed using one-tailed z tests for method superiority. For meta-analysis, a fixed-effect Mantel-Haentzel weighted average of relative risk was performed.
Results: Fifty treatment cycles (IUI: n = 25, SRI: n = 25) were performed in Germany, achieving four pregnancies (IUI: 4%, SRI: 12%, p > 0.05). Thirty-nine treatment cycles (IUI: n = 19, SRI: n = 20) were performed in Israel achieving six pregnancies (IUI: 10.5%, SRI: 20%; p > 0.05). Meta-analysis of all eligible studies for SRI (n = 3) revealed a combined relative risk for pregnancy after SRI of 2.64 (95% CI 1.04-6.74), p = 0.02).
Conclusions: In conclusion, these results lend support to the hypothesis that the pregnancy rate might be improved by SRI compared to the standard bolus technique.
Keywords: Infertility; Intrauterine insemination; Outcome; Pregnancy rate; Slow release insemination.