Background: In vitro fertilization–embryo transfer (IVF − ET) has become a core treatment method for managing infertility. Bacterial contamination of the ET catheter may affect outcome, but there is still no consensus of evidence.
Objectives: This study aims to assess the effect of bacterial colonization of the ET catheter tip on the clinical pregnancy rate in an IVF–ET treatment.
Methods: An analytical crossâ€‘sectional study among women undergoing IVF–ET treatment was undertaken. The patients selected had both cervical swab and the tip of the ET catheter cultured. The patients were grouped into positive (bacterial isolated) and negative (no bacterial isolated) based on the culture result. The clinical pregnancy rate (primary outcome) between the two groups was compared.
Results: A total of 80 patients were selected. In 34 patients (42.25%), the cervical culture was positive, while 46 patients (57.50%) had negative cervical culture. Catheter tip culture was positive in 27 patients (33.75%) and negative in 53 patients (66.25%). The predominant microorganisms isolated were Escherichia coli (23.75%), Staphylococcus spp. (18.75%), and Streptococcus spp. (15.00%). The clinical pregnancy rate was 26.25%. The significant factors affecting clinical pregnancy were the age of the patient (P = 0.044), duration of infertility (P = 0.01), and culture result (P = 0.03).
Conclusion: Bacterial colonization of the ET catheter tip is associated with a reduction in the clinical pregnancy rate. Utility of routine cervical swab; microscopy, culture, and sensitivity at recruitment of patients for IVF–ET treatment is highlighted.
Key words: Bacterial colonization, clinical pregnancy, embryo transfer, infertility, in vitro fertilization.
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