Prospective study showing that antisperm antibodies are not associated with pregnancy losses

J. L. Simpson*, S. A. Carson, J. L. Mills, M. R. Conley, J. Aarons, L. B. Holmes, L. Jovanovic-Peterson, R. Knopp, B. Metzger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: To obtain prospective data on the relationship between presence of antisperm antibodies in maternal sera and first trimester pregnancy losses. Design: First trimester sera obtained from diabetic and nondiabetic women recruited within 21 days of conception were analyzed using the indirect immunobead test for immunoglobulin (Ig) G, IgA, and IgM antisperm antibodies. Regional binding also was considered: sperm head, midpiece, and sperm tail. Results were correlated with pregnancy outcome. Setting: Five university centers. Patients: One hundred eleven women who experienced pregnancy loss (55 diabetic; 56 nondiabetic) were matched 2:1 with 104 diabetic and 116 nondiabetic women (controls) who subsequently had a normal liveborn infant. Intervention: None. Main Outcome Measure: Pregnancy outcome (spontaneous abortion, liveborn) correlated with presence or absence of antisperm antibodies. Results: Analyzing samples without knowledge of clinical status, no differences were observed with respect to IgG, IgA, and IgM binding when a positive test was defined as 50% of sperm showing antibody binding. Likewise, no association was found for IgG and IgM antisperm antibodies at 20% binding. The only positive finding was observed for IgA antisperm antibodies at 20% binding (Fisher's Exact test). This one positive finding merely could reflect multiple comparisons. No significant differences between groups were observed when analysis was stratified according to location of antibody binding (head, midpiece, tail tip, entire sperm). When the sample was stratified into those having and not having a prior loss, a relationship between antisperm antibodies and pregnancy loss still was not evident. Conclusion: Further work is necessary to determine whether IgA antisperm antibodies truly are associated with pregnancy loss or whether antisperm antibodies play any role in repetitive aborters. Findings in this study suggest that antisperm antibodies do not play a major role in pregnancy loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-42
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


  • Pregnancy loss
  • antisperm antibodies
  • first trimester
  • prospective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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