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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 12, Issue 3-4, Pages 135-145

Interaction of Microbiology and Pathology in Women Undergoing Investigations for Infertility

1Sexual Health and AIDS Service, Prince Charles Hospital, Health Service District, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
2Centre for Molecular Biotechnology, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
3Queensland Medical Laboratory, West End, Brisbane, Australia
4Department of Reproductive Medicine, Wesley Hospital, Auchenflower, Brisbane, Australia
5Co-operative Research Centre, School of Life Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
6School of Mathematics, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: Cases of endometriosis with no tubal damage are associated with infertility, suggesting an immunological rather than mechanical barrier to reproduction. Laparoscopy and falloposcopy results of clinically asymptomatic women undergoing investigation of infertility were correlated with the outcomes of microbiological screening for Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma hominis, ureaplasma species, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria meningitidis and Chlamydia pneumoniae.

Methods: A total of 44 women presenting to a hospital IVF service for laparoscopic or laparoscopic/ falloposcopic investigation of infertility provided endocervical swabs, fallopian tube washings, and peripheral whole blood for analysis.

Results: Of these 44 women, 15.9% (7) showed evidence of C. trachomatis infection as detected by either PCR or EIA serology. Of these 7 women, 5 (71%) had no or mild endometriosis and 2 (29%) had moderate or severe endometriosis. Of the remaining 37 women who showed no evidence of chlamydial infection, 15 (40.5%) had no or mild endometriosis.

Conclusion: Women with infertility, but without severe endometriosis at laparoscopy, showed a trend towards tubal damage and a higher rate of previous C. trachomatis infection. Although not statistically significant, this trend would suggest that, where moderate to severe tubal damage is found to be the primary cause of infertility, C. trachomatis infection could be a likely cause for such tubal damage.