Chapter 14 Autoantibodies and Infertility in Autoimmune Diseases

Howard J.A. Carp, Asher Ornoy, Yehuda Shoenfeld

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The main function of the immune system is to protect against pathogens, and carry out surveillance against cells which have become malignant. However, certain autoantibodies which are found in autoimmune diseases can impair fertility. Additionally, there are autoantibodies which cause infertility, but are unrelated to autoimmune diseases. Impairment of fertility may present as infertility if the patient does not conceive or if there is pregnancy loss or if the pregnancy fails to develop after conception. This review summarizes the possible influences of autoimmune factors on infertility. At present, it seems that three conditions responsible for infertility such as, premature ovarian failure, anti-sperm antibodies, and endometriosis, may be autoimmune in origin. Additionally, the presence of autoimmune antibodies such as, anti-phospholipid antibodies, anti-thyroid antibodies, and anti-nuclear antibodies may be associated with infertility, as well as pregnancy loss. Systemic lupus erythematosus, and diabetes mellitus are two autoimmune diseases which have been associated with infertility.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEndocrine Manifestations of Systemic Autoimmune Diseases
EditorsSara Walker, Luis Jara
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameHandbook of Systemic Autoimmune Diseases
ISSN (Print)1571-5078


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