Cervical secretory immunoglobulin A in adolescent girls

Jonathan M. Ellen, Claudia J. Lammel, Mary Ann Shafer, Eileen Teitle, Julius Schachter, Richard S. Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To determine whether there are differences in levels of cervical secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) between adolescent girls in the secretory and proliferative phases of their menstrual cycle. Methods: Sexually active adolescent girls (n = 117) at health maintenance organization (HMO) based adolescent medical clinic were recruited into the study. In addition to demographic and clinical data, cervical specimens were collected for sIgA measurement and gonorrhea culture, urine for chlamydia ligase chain reaction, and blood for progesterone levels. Subjects were classified as being in the proliferative phase or secretory phase of the menstrual cycle on the basis of their progesterone levels. Results: The mean age of the subjects was 17.2 years old. There was no difference in the sIgA levels between those in the proliferative phase of their cycle (n = 45; mean sIgA level, 0.0055 mg/mL) and those in the secretory phase (n = 40; mean sIgA level, 0.0032 mg/mL) (p > .10). Conclusions: The secretory phase of the menstrual cycle does not appear to be associated with higher levels of sIgA in adolescent girls. These results suggest that adolescents with anovulatory cycles, i.e., those who lack a secretory phase, may not be at increased risk for genital tract infections such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-154
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1999


  • Adolescence
  • Immunity
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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