Cervical Factor Infertility occurs when the cervical mucus is not the right consistency, does not contain the right nutrients, or contains antisperm antibodies. Any of these cervical abnormalities can prevent the sperm from swimming through and fertilizing the egg.
If the cervical mucus contains antisperm antibodies, the antibodies will attack the sperm as if they were bacteria or viruses and prevent them from swimming through. Usually, these antibodies are produced by the female immune system; rarely, however, a man can produce antibodies to his own sperm.
The first choice of treatment for Cervical Factor Infertility is intrauterine insemination (IUI), which places washed and concentrated sperm directly into the uterus, avoiding exposure to the cervical mucus.
There are no accurate tests to determine cervical factor infertility. Some tests, such as the postcoital test (search for sperm in the cervical mucus after intercourse at the time of ovulation), have not been shown to provide any value.
Cervical factor infertility often cannot be diagnosed accurately, and may fall under the category of unexplained infertility. However, the treatments for unexplained infertility and cervical factor infertility are similar (ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination).