Objective: To determine whether a relation exists between previous exposure to Chlamydia trachomatis and impaired ovarian response to gonadotropin stimulation.
Design: Controlled clinical study.
Setting: Two university IVF centers.
Patient(s): Two hundred forty-two patients receiving IVF treatment and 81 control patients. Ninety-four patients with a poor response to IVF, defined by cycle cancellation in response to a daily stimulation dose of 300 IU of FSH, and 148 patients with a good response were matched for age. Twenty-eight pregnant controls and 53 controls of proven fertility also were included.
Intervention(s): Serum samples were obtained from patients and controls. Serum levels of immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibodies to C. trachomatis were determined by ELISA.
Main outcome measure(s): The prevalence of serum IgG antibodies to C. trachomatis in critically defined poor responders was compared with that of age-matched good responders.
Result(s): A significantly higher proportion of poor responders had serum IgG antibodies to C. trachomatis compared with good responders (44.7% and 30.4%, respectively). Patients undergoing IVF had a significantly higher prevalence of IgG antibodies to C. trachomatis (36%) than did either pregnant or nonpregnant controls (12%).
Conclusion(s): A significantly higher prevalence of serum IgG antibodies to C. trachomatis was observed in critically defined poor responders, suggesting a possible detrimental effect of C. trachomatis on subsequent ovarian function.