Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 12, Issue 9, pp 610–614 | Cite as

Ureaplasma urealyticum andMycoplasma hominis detected by the polymerase chain reaction in the cervices of women undergoingin vitro fertilization: Prevalence and consequences

  • Steven S. Witkin
  • Isaac Kligman
  • James A. Grifo
  • Zev Rosenwaks
Clinical Assisted Reproduction



The prevalence of Ureaplasma urealyticumand Mycoplasma hominisin the endocervix at the time of oocyte collection in women undergoing in vitrofertilization (IVF) was examined using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).


All women were treated with tetracycline following sample collection.


U. urealyticumwas identified in 56 (17.2%) of 326 women while M. hominiswas present in only 5 (2.1%) of 235 women. U. urealyticumwas detected at a higher frequency (P =0.01) in those women whose IVF cycle failed prior to embryo transfer. This organism was present in 8 of 19 (42.1%) women with either no fertilization or no embryo transfer, 19 of 148 (12.8%) who had no evidence of pregnancy following embryo transfer, 6 of 30 (20,0%) who had only a transient (biochemical) pregnancy, 5 of 14 (35.7%) with a spontaneous abortion, and 18 of 115 (15.6%) with a term birth. Of the eight women with U. urealyticumwho had no embryos transferred, male factor was the cause of infertility in five cases, two women had tubal occlusions while in one woman the diagnosis was idiopathic. Therefore, poor sperm quality, and not a U. urealyticuminfection, might explain the failure of most of these cases to proceed to the stage of embryo transfer. Analysis of all patients revealed no association between male factor infertility and U. urealyticumin the cervix.


U. urealyticum,but not M. hominis,is present in the cervices of many culture-negative women. Its presence, however, does not influence IVF outcome subsequent to embryo transfer in women treated with tetracycline after oocyte retrieval.

Key words

Ureaplasma urealyticum Mycoplasma hominis in vitro fertilization spontaneous abortion 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven S. Witkin
    • 1
  • Isaac Kligman
    • 2
  • James A. Grifo
    • 2
  • Zev Rosenwaks
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyCornell University Medical CollegeNew York
  2. 2.Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyCornell University Medical CollegeNew York

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