No appreciable decrease in fertility in Behçet's syndrome

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2014 May;53(5):828-33. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ket436. Epub 2013 Dec 24.


Objectives: Behçet's syndrome (BS) follows an active course during the childbearing years in both men and women. We formally surveyed the infertility rate and the effect of drugs and types of organ involvement on fertility in BS.

Methods: We compared fertility among BS patients with and without major organ involvement with those with FMF, AS and healthy controls. A structured interview was performed and the medical records of the patients were reviewed to confirm the sites of involvement and drugs they used during their entire follow-up.

Results: The number of female patients who were not able to ever conceive, who were not able to conceive before or after disease onset or who were able to conceive late or only with assisted reproductive technology was not increased among the BS group. The same was true for the male patients to successfully achieve a conception and/or father a child. The average number of children, miscarriages, terminations and ectopic pregnancies were similar among the groups. Infertility was more common in BS patients with major organ involvement who used cyclophosphamide (CYC) compared with those who did not (P = 0.009).

Conclusion: Infertility is not appreciably increased among BS patients attending a dedicated outpatient clinic. Major organ involvement does not increase the risk of infertility and CYC is the only drug that seems to compromise fertility in BS.

Keywords: Behçet’s syndrome; co-morbidity; familial Mediterranean fever; infertility.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behcet Syndrome / complications*
  • Behcet Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cyclophosphamide / adverse effects
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / epidemiology*
  • Infertility, Male / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / complications


  • Cyclophosphamide