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09-01-2011 | Gynaecology | Article

HPV diagnosis in male partner linked to pregnancy loss


Journal abstract

MedWire News: Women with a male partner positive for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection have more than an 11-fold increased risk for miscarriage compared with those with HPV-negative partners, show Italian study findings.

"The results of our study suggest the need for HPV testing in the clinical work-up of couples starting assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles," say Giovanni Ruvolo (Centro di Biologia della Riproduzione, Palermo) and co-authors.

In total, 199 couples were enrolled in the study. Women and men were aged on average 34.7 and 38.0 years, respectively. HPV was detected in 9.5 percent of men and in 17.5 percent of women, with both partners testing positive in 4.5 percent of cases.

No significant differences in pregnancy rate according to HPV status were observed. However, miscarriage rates were significantly higher among women who had a HPV-positive partner compared with those who did not, at 66.7 versus 15.0 percent.

Furthermore, all pregnancies occurring in HPV-positive couples resulted in miscarriage, while HPV-negative couples had an overall miscarriage rate of 15.9 percent.

Multivariate analyses revealed a significant risk for miscarriage, which was correlated to older male age (>38 vs ≤38 years, adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 5.36) and the presence of male HPV infection (aOR = 14.72).

The team calls for further investigation and says "the extension of anti-HPV vaccination to adolescent males, along with anogenital and oral cancer prevention, could be recommended."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Ingrid Grasmo