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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2002 Oct;81(10):949-53.

Cytologic screening and human papilloma virus test in women undergoing artificial fertilization.

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Department of Women's and Children's Health, Section of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center for Reproduction, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.



Infertile women in Sweden are offered in vitro fertilization (IVF) within the frame of the social security system. The present investigation was undertaken to evaluate the prevalence of genital human papilloma virus (HPV) infection in relation to the results of cytologic screening and to the infertility in these women.


Two hundred and fourteen women, mean age 32 years (range 20-40), admitted to the Center for Reproduction at Uppsala University Hospital for investigation of infertility and IVF were studied. Human papilloma virus tests were performed by a sensitive polymerase chain reaction-based technique in cervical smears obtained at a medical examination or during oocyte retrieval. Cytologic screening results were obtained from medical records or at the time of investigation. The infertile women were compared with 197 healthy female controls.


Infertility resulted from female factors in 47% and male factors in 29% of the cases, and remained unexplained in 24%. Seven percent of the infertile women were HPV-positive compared with 9.1% of the controls. Only genital and oncogenic HPV types were identified. Human papilloma virus type 16 was most prevalent, and examination of the HPV 16 E6 gene showed that this prototype predominated over variants. No correlation was found between HPV infection and cause of infertility. Abnormal cytology was observed in 2.3% of the infertile women and 4.1% of the controls.


Human papilloma virus infections might appear somewhat less frequently in infertile women admitted for IVF than in a control population. In both groups HPV infection was more common than cytologic abnormalities, possibly indicating that present HPV tests are more sensitive in detecting HPV infections than cytologic screening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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