Microorganisms within human follicular fluid: effects on IVF.

PloS one

PubMedID: 23554970

Pelzer ES, Allan JA, Waterhouse MA, Ross T, Beagley KW, Knox CL. Microorganisms within human follicular fluid: effects on IVF. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(3):e59062.
Our previous study reported microorganisms in human follicular fluid. The objective of this study was to test human follicular fluid for the presence of microorganisms and to correlate these findings with the in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes. In this study, 263 paired follicular fluids and vaginal swabs were collected from women undergoing IVF cycles, with various causes for infertility, and were cultured to detect microorganisms. The cause of infertility and the IVF outcomes for each woman were correlated with the microorganisms detected within follicular fluid collected at the time of trans-vaginal oocyte retrieval. Microorganisms isolated from follicular fluids were classified as: (1) 'colonizers' if microorganisms were detected within the follicular fluid, but not within the vaginal swab (at the time of oocyte retrieval); or (2) 'contaminants' if microorganisms detected in the vagina at the time of oocyte retrieval were also detected within the follicular fluid. The presence of Lactobacillus spp. in ovarian follicular fluids was associated with embryo maturation and transfer. This study revealed microorganisms in follicular fluid itself and that the presence of particular microorganisms has an adverse affect on IVF outcomes as seen by an overall decrease in embryo transfer rates and pregnancy rates in both fertile and infertile women, and live birth rates in women with idiopathic infertility. Follicular fluid microorganisms are a potential cause of adverse pregnancy outcomes in IVF in both infertile women and in fertile women with infertile male partners.