Immunology and Infertility
Does our immune system affect our fertility, and if so, is there anything we can do about it?

It’s hard to think of a more controversial topic in infertility medicine than the immunological connection to infertility. Our guest on yesterday’s Creating a Family show, Dr. William Kutteh, believes there is likely a connection, but he says we don’t know what it is, how to test for it, or how to treat it. Dr. Kutteh is the only Ph.D Immunologist who is also board certified in reproductive endocrinology in the US.


The Patient’s Role

I appreciate the position of infertility patients desperate for something–anything– to work. It reminds me of my interview with Nia Vardalos, of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame, who went through 13 rounds of IVF before she finally decided to consider other options for parenthood. (She ultimately adopted a toddler from foster care.) I am sure that if she had heard about testing and treating for an immunological disorder or imbalance, she would have done that as well. Her desperation led to continuing in treatment long past the point that is was reasonable. I get that level of desperation.

I’m not a doctor and don’t know the evidence. Dr. Kutteh believes there is no good evidence to support immunological testing in infertility treatment, and no known effective treatment even if an immune problem is found. What I do know is that patients must be careful that desperation doesn’t drive their treatment options.

Have you stayed in treatment longer than you should or tried unproven treatments out of desperation?


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