• IVF;
  • sperm antibody;
  • zona pellucida antibody

The levels of sperm and zona pellucida antibodies in 250 women divided into four groups according to number of recurrent IVF failures (1–4) were analysed and compared with results of a control group of 211 unexplained infertile women never treated by IVF. Sperm antibodies in serum and in ovulatory cervical mucus were determined by mixed antiglobulin reaction (MAR) test, serum zona pellucida antibodies were detected using passive haemagglutination and ELISA.

These tests showed increased occurrence of zona pellucida antibodies in women after repeated IVF. Zona pellucida antibodies were found in 20% after one unsuccessful IVF (similarly to 27% in the control group), but in 64% after two, in 91% after three and in 4 of 5 cases after four IVF failures.

Sperm IgG, A, M and E antibodies in serum and in ovulatory cervical mucus do not seem to be influenced by IVF procedure.

The results show evolution of autoimmune process due to repeated ovarial intervention during oocyte collections. Presence of zona pellucida antibodies, on the other hand, may become a cause of IVF failure.