Human papillomavirus, HPV for short, is known to cause cervical cancer, genital warts and other cancers such as penile, anal and throat cancer. For several years now there is the possibility to get vaccinated against HPV . The HPV vaccine comes as the first "vaccine against cancer", whereby the importance of vaccination for men has been underestimated.
A recent Belgian study found that HPV infection also seems to play a role in male fertility. The authors investigated the influence of HPV infection in intrauterine inseminations (IUI), ie when the semen is introduced directly into the uterus. About 10-15% of all men had the HPV virus in their seminal fluid. The study showed that when the HPV virus was detected in the seminal fluid, the pregnancy rates were many times lower (3% vs. 11%). No pregnancy could be achieved at all with semen samples heavily affected by HPV.
Previous studies have shown that the spermatozoa virus can enter the oocyte directly, leading to impaired fertilization and embryo development
says Priv.-Doz. GDR. Feichtinger, head of the Wunschbaby Institut Feichtinger in Vienna.
By early vaccination of boys this form of infertility could be avoided. The HPV vaccine could thus also become a "vaccine against infertility" from a "vaccine against cancer".
"Parents should therefore have their children vaccinated in time for both sexes," emphasizes DDr.Feichtinger. In Austria, the HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys between 9 and 12 years before the infection even occurs. The costs are covered by the health insurance.
Depuydt C.E. et. al. Infectious human papillomavirus virions in semen reduce clinical pregnancy rates in women undergoing intrauterine insemination; Fertil. Steril. 2019 in Press