Sperm exposure during menses is a risk factor for developing antisperm antibody (ASA) in female
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Intercourse during menses is a sexual behavior practiced by 3–30 % of sexually active women. Defense responses of mucosal immunity in the female genital tract regulated by sex hormones would be impaired during menses. The present study seeks to clarify whether unprotected sexual activity during menses will increase the risk for antisperm antibody (ASA) production in female.
In this prospective study, 27 women who had a usual practice of vaginal intercourse during menses admitted in the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University with infertility were included, while 30 age-matched infertile women without this practice were set as controls. Indirect immunobead test (I-IBT) performed according to the World Health Organization (WHO) manual was used to measure the ASA levels.
No case was revealed to develop significant ASA level. 6 of 27 women (22.2 %) in the case group and 1 of 30 women (3.3 %) in the control group were detected to be ASA subpositive, and a significant difference was found in the subpositive incidence between these two groups (P < 0.05). Among these 6 subpositive cases, 3 became pregnant in the subsequent 2-year follow-up after condom therapy for 6 months.
Sperm exposure during menses is a risk factor for ASA production in female. Although a precisely causal linkage between ASA and infertility in these women cannot be drawn from the present data, the potential disadvantages of sexual activity during menses should still be given importance.
KeywordsAntisperm antibody (ASA) Sexual intercourse Menses Female infertility
Conflict of interest
We declare that we have no conflict of interest.
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