The IUI procedure is clinically indicated for couples in which the female partner has a good ovulatory ability and the male partner has sperm of good quality. The IUI technique is not able to remedy defects of male semen and should not be offered in the presence of male subfertility unless it is adequately treated. On the other side, it is possible to partially remedy ovulation defects by stimulating the women with the hormone FSH that will sustain the ovulation. If supra-physiological doses of FSH are used, the woman will produce more than one oocyte, and this can increase the chances that at least one is fertilized. This stimulation, although beneficial regarding effectiveness, presents potential hazards if anything goes wrong. It is indeed difficult to predict how many follicles will develop and how many of them will fertilize and multiple pregnancies may occur. Almost all the newspapers first page cases with higher order multiple pregnancies (3 or more fetuses) are coming from IUI cycles and not from in vitro fertilization (where usually only one or two embryos are transferred).
The antioxidant supplementation of women undergoing unstimulated IUI cycles can be a viable alternative to stimulation to improve oocyte quality and thus the chances of success. If rather a stimulated IUI cycle is performed, antioxidant supplementation is equally important to remedy the reduced quality of the oocyte caused by the stimulation.