OBJECTIVE : Does intrauterine insemination (IUI) carried out simultaneously with HCG triggering ('simultaneous IUI') increase the ongoing pregnancy rate compared with IUI 32-36 h after HCG triggering ('regular IUI')? METHODS : An open-label randomized clinical trial was conducted in seven Dutch fertility clinics. One hundred and sixty-six couples were randomized to receive simultaneous IUI and 208 couples to receive regular IUI. Treatment was allocated using a computer-based randomization algorithm using sealed opaque envelopes. Data were analysed according to the intention-to-treat principle. Couples with unexplained or mild-to-moderate male factor subfertility were eligible. Exclusion criteria were female age 42 years or older, female body mass index 35 kg/m2 or over, double-sided tubal pathology or severe male factor subfertility. Mild ovarian stimulation was carried out by subcutaneous FSH self-administration. 'Simultaneous IUI' was carried out at the point of HCG triggering for ovulation. 'Regular IUI' was carried out 32-36 h after HCG triggering. RESULTS : The cumulative ongoing pregnancy rate after a maximum of four cycles was 26.2% for simultaneous IUI (43 ongoing pregnancies) and 33.7% for regular IUI (70 ongoing pregnancies) (RR 0.78 95% CI 0.57 to 1.07). Ongoing pregnancy rates per cycle in the simultaneous IUI group were 6.8%, 10.5%, 9.5% and 7.4% for the first, second, third and fourth IUI cycle. In the regular IUI group, ongoing pregnancy rates were 8.3%, 16.4%, 13.5% and 9.0% for the first, second, third and fourth IUI cycle. CONCLUSIONS : This multicentre randomized controlled trial did not demonstrate that IUI carried out at the point of HCG triggering increases pregnancy rates compared with IUI carried out around the time of ovulation.