assisted reproductive technologyWhen couples require assisted reproductive technology (ART) to conceive, fertility specialists must take the health of both patients into consideration before choosing the best course of treatment. In the case of Hepatitis C (HCV) discordant couples, in this case, male infection, using infected sperm is heavily debated. Researchers from the University of Milan recently published a small study in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. The study focused on overall pregnancy outcome and rate of infection for non-infected mothers and offspring.

The study was completed between Jan. 2008 and Dec. 2010 in a single reproductive clinic in Milan. A total of 25 HCV discordant couples presented with infertility. Sperm washing was used to reduce the rate of HCV in sperm before ART was performed.

Conclusion: Eighty-five sperm samples were collected, washed and used in ART procedures. No preterm labor, maternal infection, fetal infection or negative pregnancy outcomes were reported.

Source: Savasi V, Oneta M, Parrilla B, Cetin I. Should HCV discordant couples with a seropositive male partner be treated with assisted reproduction techniques (ART)? Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2013 Jan 11. pii: S0301-2115(12)00576-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2012.12.012.