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What tests are performed on the couple to rule out sexually transmitted diseases before fertility treatment?

By Blanca Paraíso.
Last Update: 12/09/2019

Serological study of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV and syphilis should be performed prior to any treatment.

This aims to avoid transmission between partners, from mother to fetus and even contamination in the laboratory with possible infection of the staff of the same or other uninfected partners.

In addition, some guidelines recommend microbiological screening for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, as well as serological screening for cytomegalovirus. Although the latter cannot be considered a sexually transmitted disease, it could be spread by contact with body fluids such as semen, so that the mother and the future newborn could be infected.

Regarding the herpes simplex virus, although the possibility of transmission by artificial insemination has been demonstrated, it is not recommended to study it either by culture, given its low sensitivity, or by serological tests, since they are not correlated with its presence in semen.

In addition to the mandatory serological determinations, the origin of the couple must be taken into account and even recent trips to assess the performance of additional tests such as HTLV I and II, toxoplasma, Zika, trypanosoma cruzi, dengue, EBV, RhD, malaria ... This type of studies are especially important when using donor gametes.

The fact that the tests are positive does not prevent the use of reproductive cells between people of the same couple, always in accordance with current regulations. In fact, the infection of one of the members of the couple by HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C constitutes a recommendation to carry out an assisted reproduction technique if they have genetic desire, so that it can be achieved by reducing the risk of transmission of the infection to the couple and offspring.

Suggested for you: What Are Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)? – Symptoms & Types.

 Blanca Paraíso
Blanca Paraíso
MD, PhD, MSc
Gynecologist
Bachelor's Degree in Medicine and Ph.D from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Postgraduate Course in Statistics of Health Sciences. Doctor specialized in Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Assisted Procreation.
License: 454505579
Gynecologist. Bachelor's Degree in Medicine and Ph.D from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Postgraduate Course in Statistics of Health Sciences. Doctor specialized in Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Assisted Procreation. License: 454505579.
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