October 15, 1973

Medical News

JAMA. 1973;226(3):263-272. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230030001001

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Clues tantalizing in efforts to link mycoplasmas, infertility  The psychological pain of reproductive failure is real enough to thousands of couples. With adoption becoming more and more difficult they, like others seemingly doomed to certain fates, tend to grasp at straws. It is well known that some infections, notably gonorrhea, can cause women to become infertile. A recent pressing question is whether genital mycoplasma infections have the same effect. Is the evidence good enough for more physicians who treat infertility to start culturing for mycoplasma? Will this be a real boon—or will it result in more dashed hopes?To be sure, mycoplasmas—the smallest of free-living organisms—were first isolated from the human genital tract in 1937, yet decisive evidence concerning their role in genitourinary disease and reproductive failure has been slow to accumulate. In truth, the answer still is not in, but the evidence is tantalizing.Not all mycoplasmas are under indictment in