• cervical mucus;
  • immunoglobulins;
  • mucosal immunity;
  • IgA

The quantity and subclass distribution of IgA produced by the human uterine cervix may have a significant impact on the defence against sexually transmitted diseases as well as the regulation of fertility. Cervical mucus was obtained from 15 normal ovulating women around the time of ovulation. The total amounts of secreted IgA (including IgA1 and IgA2), IgG, and IgM were determined by ELISA. IgA was detected at high levels in all samples of cervical mucus. When ovulation was ascertained by daily urinary luteinizing hormone testing, IgA production was maximal 2–3 days before ovulation. Equal proportions of IgA1 and IgA2 were detected in cervical mucus, and 80% of the IgA occurred in the polymeric forms. The increased levels of IgA, the ratios of IgA1 to IgA2, and the predominance of polymeric IgA indicate that much of the IgA in human uterine cervical fluid originates from local production.