Chlamydia trachomatis infection in women with secondary infertility

Abida Malik*, Suchitra Jain, Meher Rizvi, Indu Shukla, Seema Hakim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (SciVal)


Objective: To assess the role of Chlamydia in secondary infertility in a prospective study. Design: Forty women with secondary infertility and 30 healthy term pregnant women of similar age composition were studied for past and present Chlamydia trachomatis infection. Setting: Women attending the outpatient Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology with complaint of secondary infertility were enrolled as patients in the study. Patient(s): Forty women with secondary infertility formed the study group, and 30 healthy women served as the controls. Intervention(s): Chlamydia IgG was detected by ELISA; titers of 1:320 or more were considered positive. Endocervical swabs were collected for culture on cycloheximide-treated McCoy cell lines, and ELISA was used to detect Chlamydia antigen. Hysterosalpingography was performed to assess tubal patency. Main Outcome Measure(s): A difference was expected between the prevalence of C. trachomatis infection in the infertile study subjects and fertile control group. Result(s): Immunoglobulin G antibodies were present in 22 (55%) women with secondary infertility, whereas positivity was seen among 2 (5.5%) controls. Tubal occlusion occurred in 16 (63.6%) cases positive for chlamydial antibody. Sensitivity of chlamydial IgG antibody as a diagnostic marker for infertility was 72.7%, and specificity was 44.4%. The majority of Chlamydia IgG antibody-positive cases, 17 (77.2%), were symptomatic. Unfavorable obstetric history was found in 16 (72.7%) cases. Active infection was found in 12 (30%) cases with one (3.3%) case of current infection occurring in the controls. Conclusion(s): Prevalence of past chlamydial infection is strongly statistically significant in women with secondary infertility. Current infection was also found statistically significantly in these women. Immunoglobulin G antibody detection is an effective and noninvasive tool for detection of Chlamydia and a more viable option than HSG in a developing country such as India. Screening of women with secondary infertility for C. trachomatis is strongly recommended to allow early therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-95
Number of pages5
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlamydia antigen
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • culture
  • IgG antibodies
  • secondary infertility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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