The association between hidradenitis suppurativa and male and female infertility: A population-based study

Australas J Dermatol. 2021 May;62(2):e223-e227. doi: 10.1111/ajd.13529. Epub 2021 Jan 5.


Background: Endocrine and metabolic associations have been recently reported in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS); however, fertility was only rarely investigated in women and not at all in men.

Objective: To evaluate the association of HS with male and female infertility.

Methods: A cross-sectional, matched controlled, population-based study was designed. The association between HS and male and female infertility was evaluated in patients with HS (n = 4191) and age- and gender-matched controls (n = 20 941), while utilising the Clalit Health Services databases, the largest community-based health maintenance organisation in Israel.

Results: Hidradenitis suppurativa was associated with infertility in males and females over all reproductive-age groups, especially among individuals aged 36-45 years (OR 4.50, 95%CI 2.55-7.93, P < 0.001), and in female patients (OR 3.10, 95%CI 2.57-3.74, P < 0.001). After adjustment for demographic and clinical factors, the association remained significant only in females (OR 1.26 95%CI 1.04-1.55, P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Patients with HS are at increased risk of infertility, particularly females and patients in the 36- to 45-year age group. Physicians should take the additional physiological and psychological burden of infertility among HS patients into account, primarily among female patients at procreative age.

Keywords: cohort; female infertility; hidradenitis suppurativa (HS); male infertility.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / epidemiology*
  • Infertility, Male / epidemiology*
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Social Class