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Hum Reprod. 2006 Sep;21(9):2359-63. Epub 2006 May 9.

Abnormal cervical cytology in women eligible for IVF.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Chlamydia trachomatis is more prevalent in subfertile women than in the general population and is the leading cause of tubal factor subfertility. As C. trachomatis infections are sexually transmitted, it can be expected that infections with human papillomavirus (HPV) are also more prevalent in this group of women. HPV is a necessary cause for the development of cervical (pre-)malignancies. We therefore hypothesized that subfertile women are more likely to have HPV-induced cervical abnormalities compared to the general population.


In this retrospective case-control study, all cervical smears of women visiting the fertility clinic for IVF (cases) and of women attending the population-based screening programme for cervical cancer (controls) were retrieved from an electronic database and assessed.


The cases (n = 669) showed significantly more abnormal cervical smears compared to the controls (77,055) (6.1 and 3.9%, respectively, P < 0.02).


The probability that subfertile women eligible for IVF are diagnosed with a high-grade cervical lesion is almost twice as high compared to women in the general population. We therefore suggest to take a cervical smear from all women referred for fertility problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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