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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 May;188(5):1241-3.

Sperm exposure and development of preeclampsia.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, 6550 Fannin, Suite 901, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



Length of sperm exposure has been proposed to influence the risk of preeclampsia. The main objective was to determine the relationship between extent of exposure to sperm, both before and during pregnancy, and the risk of preeclampsia.


A case-control design was used where women with preeclampsia (cases) were matched with two women without preeclampsia (controls) by age and parity. Data were analyzed by Student t test, chi(2) test, and logistic regression analysis.


A total of 113 cases were compared with 226 controls. Women with a short period of cohabitation (<4 months) who used barrier methods for contraception had a substantially elevated risk for development of preeclampsia compared with women with more than 12 months of cohabitation before conception (odds ratio 17.1, P =.004).


Fewer than 4 months of cohabitation among users of barrier methods for contraception is associated with a significantly increased risk for preeclampsia.

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