Evaluation of human papilloma virus in semen as a risk factor for low sperm quality and poor in vitro fertilization outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis

The presence of human papilloma virus DNA in semen was found to be associated with reduced sperm parameters and increased miscarriage rates and should be further studied to evaluate the clinical significance.

Volume 113, Issue 5, Pages 955–969.e4


May Weinberg, B.Sc., Chen Sar-Shalom Nahshon, B.Sc., Ido Feferkorn, M.D., Jacob Bornstein, M.D., M.P.A.



To analyze the effect of human papilloma virus (HPV) sperm infection on sperm parameters and in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes.


Systematic review and meta-analysis.


Not applicable.


Men with HPV sperm infection and couples undergoing IVF.


Searches were conducted in the following databases: Medline(R), PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Scopos, and the Cochrane Library. We included studies examining sperm parameters and IVF results in patients with and without HPV sperm infection.

Main Outcome Measures

Sperm analysis (concertation, count, volume, motility, morphology), according to the World Health Organization manual, pregnancy rate (PR), and miscarriage rate (MR).


Sixteen studies were included in this meta-analysis. The presence of HPV had a significant association with impaired sperm parameters in terms of concentration (mean difference [MD] −4.48, 95% confidence interval [CI] − 6.12 to −2.83), motility (MD −11.71, 95% CI − 16.15 to −7.26), and morphology (MD −2.44, 95% CI − 4.08 to −0.79. A review of the literature regarding ART outcomes showed an association between HPV infection and decreased PR, and an even stronger association between HPV infection and increased MR.


Our meta-analysis shows a negative effect of HPV on sperm concentration, motility, and morphology. Further subgroup and categorical analysis confirmed the clinical significance of impaired sperm motility in HPV-infected sperm, although the sperm count and morphology must be carefully analyzed. The studies reviewed reported lower PR and increased MR in couples with HPV-infected sperm. As most studies had a moderate risk of bias, these observations warrant further large, well-designed studies before introducing clinical management recommendations.

PROSPERO Registration Number


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