Anti-phospholipid antibodies and infertility

Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2007 Apr;32(2):159-61. doi: 10.1007/s12016-007-0010-2.


Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) or the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL), usually presents as pregnancy loss. However, aPL have also been reported to affect implantation, placentation, and early embryonic development. The binding of aPl to beta2GP1 may lead to breakdown of the phospholipid adhesion molecules between different elements of trophoblast. As aPL affect placental growth and function, aPl may prevent implantation presenting as infertility. Lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin antibody have been implicated in the prothrombotic effects of APS. Antibodies to other phospholipids such as anti-phosphatidylserine, phosphatidyl ethanolamine, phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl glycerol, phosphatidyl Inositol etc. may be more relevant in infertility. Their role remains to be clarified. There is theoretical evidence from animal models and clinical infertility practice that aPL has a role in infertility. However, a large-scale meta-analysis has failed to confirm the association. To determine whether infertility or even pregnancy loss is associated with aPL, it is necessary to know that the embryo is chromosomally normal. Pregestational diagnosis has shown that up to 60% of embryos may be chromosomally aneuploid in failed in vitro fertilization (IVF); hence, may confound our understanding concerning the association between aPL and infertility, failed IVF or even pregnancy loss.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual / immunology
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid / immunology*
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / etiology
  • Infertility, Female / immunology*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • beta 2-Glycoprotein I / immunology


  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid
  • beta 2-Glycoprotein I