Endometrial microbiome: sampling, assessment, and possible impact on embryo implantation

Marco Reschini, Laura Benaglia, Ferruccio Ceriotti, Raffaella Borroni, Stefania Ferrari, Marta Castiglioni, Davide Guarneri, Luigi Porcaro, Paola Vigano’, Edgardo Somigliana, Sara Uceda Renteria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is growing interest on the potential clinical relevance of the endometrial microbiome. However, insufficient attention has been given to the methodology of sampling. To minimize contamination, we advocate the use of the double-lumen catheters commonly employed for the embryo transfer. Endometrial fluid samples obtained from 53 women scheduled for IVF were studied for microbiome characterization. Control samples from the vagina of these same women were concomitantly obtained. Samples were analysed by V3–V4–V6 regions of 16S rRNA gene sequencing with Next Generation Sequencing technique. Endometrial Lactobacillus-dominant cases were uncommon compared to previous evidence, being observed in only 4 (8%) women. Taxonomy markedly differed between the endometrial and vaginal microbiomes composition. The most common bacterial genera coincided in only 4 (8%) women. The comparison between women who did and did not subsequently become pregnant failed to identify any microorganism associated with the success of the procedure. However, the endometrial biodiversity resulted higher among pregnant women. Shannon’s Equitability index in pregnant and non pregnant women was 0.76 [0.57–0.87] and 0.55 [0.51–0.64], respectively (p = 0.002). In conclusion, the use of embryo transfer catheters for testing the endometrial microbiome is promising. The scant concordance with vaginal samples supports the validity of this approach. Moreover, our study highlighted a possible beneficial role of a higher biodiversity on endometrial receptivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8467
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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