HPV May Hamper Infertility Treatment
Women With the Sexually Transmitted Disease May Be Less Likely to Become Pregnant After IVF
WebMD News Archive
Sept. 22, 2006 -- Women with one of the most common sexually transmitted
diseases may have a much harder time getting pregnant using infertility
treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
A new study shows women with the human papillomavirus (HPV) were less than
half as likely to become pregnant after using IVF than women without the
Researchers say the relationship between HPV and infertility is unclear.
HPV has several different strains, some of which are responsible for genital
warts, abnormal Pap tests, and lead to cervical cancer.
HPV and Infertility Treatment
In the study, published in Fertility and Sterility, researchers
screened a group of 106 women for HPV. The women had been scheduled for
infertility treatment with IVF and had already tested negative to other
sexually transmitted diseases. Seventeen of the women (16%) tested positive for
A year later, the results showed that only 23.5% of the women with HPV had
become pregnant via IVF compared with 57% of the HPV-negative women.
They note that the quality and number of embryos were not different between
the two groups of women.
Researchers Steven D. Spandorfer, MD, of the Center for Reproductive
Medicine and Infertility at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, and
colleagues say the mechanism behind the link between HPV and IVF failure is up
But women seeking infertility treatment who are in a monogamous relationship
may have an impaired immune system that is unable to clear the HPV virus. This
may also make it more difficult for embryo implantation to occur.
Researchers say the results suggest testing for HPV may become a useful
addition to the screening tests done for IVF treatment and help doctors advise