OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the clinical efficacy of clomiphene citrate (CC) and letrozole combined with gonadotropins for controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) in patients with CC-induced thin endometrium METHODS: Fifty-one intrauterine insemination cycles performed in patients who previously had a thin endometrium (<8 mm) to ovulation induction using CC were included in this study. A CC 100 mg/day (CC+gonadotropin group, n=26) or letrozole 2.5 or 5 mg/day (letrozole+gonadotropin group, n=25) was administered on day 3~7 of the menstrual cycle, combined with gonadotropins at dose 75~150 IU every other day starting on day 5~7. We compared total dose of gonadotropin used, endometrial thickness, endometrial pattern, number of follicles > or =14 mm on hCG day, pregnancy rate and multiple pregnancy rate between the two groups, which were statistically analyzed using Mann-Whitney U test or Fisher's exact test, where appropriate. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in clinical characteristics such as age, duration of infertility, number of previous IUI cycles, basal serum hormone levels and cause of infertility between the two groups. In both groups, the endometrium was significantly thicker than that of previous ovulation induction cycles using CC. No significant differences were found in the total dose of gonadotropin used, day of hCG administration, the rate of triple endometrium and pregnancy rate. The number of follicles > or =14 mm was significantly lower (3.7+/-1.7 vs. 2.8+/-1.7, p=0.03) and the endometrium on hCG day was significantly thicker (7.7+/-1.5 vs. 9.1+/-1.7, p=0.001) in letrozole+gonadotropin group compared to CC+gonadotropin group. CONCLUSION: The clomiphene citrate and letrozole combined with gonadotropins appear to avoid the undesirable effects on the endometrium frequently seen with CC for ovulation induction. However, in terms of adequate endometrial development or optimal follicular growth, letrozole may be more beneficial than CC for gonadotropin-combined COS in patients with CC-induced thin endometrium. Further prospective randomized controlled studies in a larger scale will be necessary to confirm our findings.