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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1997 Aug;177(2):455-8.

Increased incidence of preeclampsia in women conceiving by intrauterine insemination with donor versus partner sperm for treatment of primary infertility.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.



Reports suggest that there is an increased incidence of preeclampsia after a previously normal pregnancy if there is a change in paternity. We hypothesize that there is a higher incidence of preeclampsia (proteinuric hypertension) in women conceiving by intrauterine insemination with donor sperm versus intrauterine insemination with partner sperm.


This was a retrospective cohort study. In women with primary infertility all pregnancies achieved by either partner or donor intrauterine insemination carried to birth of a fetus (> 20 weeks) were identified. The medical records were examined for the maternal and pregnancy outcome data. The relative risk and 95% confidence interval were calculated for the risk of preeclampsia. The baseline data were compared with t tests, chi 2 analysis and Fisher's exact test where appropriate.


Forty-four patients in the partner intrauterine insemination group and 37 in the donor insemination group were identified as having primary infertility. Three cases of mild preeclampsia were found in the partner insemination program and nine cases of preeclampsia (five severe, four mild) in the donor insemination program (relative risk 1.85, 95% confidence interval 1.20 to 2.85).


There is a higher incidence of preeclampsia in women conceiving by intrauterine insemination with washed donor sperm compared with intrauterine insemination with washed partner sperm. This supports, indirectly, an immunologic basis for preeclampsia. The antigenic factor would appear to be located on the sperm as opposed to the seminal fluid itself.

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