A possible role of Chlamydia trachomatis in unexplained infertility and sterility

Acta Eur Fertil. 1990 May-Jun;21(3):151-3.


To estimate the presence of latent Chlamydia Trachomatis (C.T.) infections, we have carried out a study on a selected group of couples affected by unexplained sterility and infertility. We examined 193 women and, as control group 210 healthy fertile women. For both groups the main risk factors that could explain the infection epidemiology have been analyzed. The parameters considered are age of first intercourse, number of partners, social-economic conditions and number of voluntary abortions. Amongst all the causal agents of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), C.T. was most common, with an incidence of about 12 per cent in the study group versus the 5.7 per cent of the control group (chi 2 = 4.12).

PIP: The incidence of Chlamydia infection and factors associated with it in 193 women consulting for infertility was analyzed in comparison with 210 matched controls. All study subjects received a clinical exam, history interview, Pap test, vaginal bacteriology, colposcopy, cervical virology for Chlamydia and enzyme-linked assay for Chlamydia, herpes, rubella and toxoplasma antibodies. Results were tabulated as percent distributions for Chlamydia-positive and -negative in index cases and controls, broken down by the descriptive factors, age at 1st intercourse, number of partners, socio economic class and numbers of induced abortions. 43.5% of the index cases had primary infertility, 21.7% had secondary infertility and 34.8% were sterile. 11.9% of the study group were positive for Chlamydia infection, compared to 5.7% of controls. The only significant difference in factors related to STD infection were: earlier age at 1st intercourse among controls; higher percentage with 3 sexual partners, higher socioeconomic class and more induced abortions in the study group of infertile women; but no difference in chlamydia infection rates with abortion history. This study is unusual in finding higher socioeconomic class in the infertile women than in controls.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual / microbiology
  • Abortion, Induced
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Chlamydia Infections* / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia trachomatis* / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Infertility, Female / microbiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / microbiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors