• Antispermatozoal antibodies;
  • follicular fluid;
  • in vitro fertilisation;
  • IgG and IgA ratios

ABSTRACT: The possibility of antispermatozoal antibodies in women having significant effects in the higher regions of the female reproductive tract has been investigated. Follicular fluids (FF) and sera taken at the time of oocyte recovery from women undergoing in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) were tested for the presence of antispermatozoal antibodies, and the concentrations of IgM, IgG, IgA, and complement C3 were determined. The concentrations of immunoglobulins and C3 in FF were consistent with transudation from serum inversely proportional to molecular weight. Titres of agglutinating and immobilising antibodies in FF were usually one or two dilution steps below those of serum except where immobilising activity was associated with IgM. IgG: IgA ratios were lower in FF from women with antispermatozoal antibodies, suggesting local production or enhanced transudation of IgA; however, a secretory component could not be detected in any of the follicular fluids in this study. Two women with antispermatozoal antibodies and infertility in excess of 5 years had successful IVF-ET and have delivered healthy infants.