Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp 395–399 | Cite as

Examination of bacterial contamination at the time of embryo transfer, and its impact on the IVF/pregnancy outcome

  • Helmy Selman
  • Monica Mariani
  • Nicoletta Barnocchi
  • Antonella Mencacci
  • Francesco Bistoni
  • Saverio Arena
  • Silvana Pizzasegale
  • Gian Francesco Brusco
  • Antonio Angelini
Assisted Reproduction



This study was designed to examine the effect of bacterial contamination on in vitro fertilization treatment outcomes.


In a prospective clinical trial, 152 patients aged 23–38 years, mean 33.3 ± 4.6, undergoing IVF treatment were selected for this study. During embryo transfer, separate samples were collected for microbial examination from the following sites: the fundus of the vagina, the cervix, the embryo culture medium prior and post-embryo transfer, the tip of the catheter, and the external sheet. All the samples were separately cultured to identify any bacteria or yeast present.


Pregnancy rates in patients testing positive for Entrobacteriaceae (22.2% versus 51%) and Staphylococcus species (17.6% versus 44%) were significantly lower than those in the negative culture group (p < 0.001). The pregnancy rates do not seem to be affected by the other isolated microorganisms.


This study shows that the presence of vaginal–cervical microbial contamination at the time of embryo transfer is associated with significantly decreased pregnancy rates.


Bacterial population Embryo transfer catheter Implantation In vitro fertilization Vaginal–cervical contamination 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helmy Selman
    • 1
  • Monica Mariani
    • 1
  • Nicoletta Barnocchi
    • 1
  • Antonella Mencacci
    • 2
  • Francesco Bistoni
    • 2
  • Saverio Arena
    • 1
  • Silvana Pizzasegale
    • 1
  • Gian Francesco Brusco
    • 1
  • Antonio Angelini
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro Sterilità e Fecondazione Assistita Policlinico di PerugiaUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, Microbiology SectionUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly

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