Immunological Connection to Infertility and Miscarriage

Immunology and Infertility

Immunology and InfertilityAlthough controversial with some reproductive endocrinologists, there is a growing interest by patients to consider problems with the immune system as a cause for infertility or miscarriages, especially if no other cause has been found. There is no consensus among reproductive endocrinologists and reproductive immunologist, and the debate has been contentious.

An informative article in the journal Human Reproduction titled “The Immunological ‘Wars of the Roses’: Disagreements Amongst Reproductive Immunologists” does a good job of explaining the controversy, and we strongly recommend that you read this if you are considering testing for reproductive immunological problems.

General Health Problems
The following symptoms might lead you to consider testing for immune related infertility (this information was taken from the Creating a Family show on this condition). Keep in mind that they are fairly general in nature and could be unrelated to the immune system.

Fertility and Reproductive Problems
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Producing less than 6 eggs with a stimulated IVF cycle
  • One blighted ovum
  • Three unexplained miscarriages or IVF failures before age 35
  • Two unexplained miscarriages or IVF failures after age 35
  • Endometriosis or any kind of pelvic inflammation
  • One living child and repeat miscarriages while attempting to have a second child
Previous Pregnancy Problems
  • Unexplained uterine bleeding, especially in the first trimester
  • Cervical incompetence
  • Preterm labor
  • Premature rupture of the amniotic sac
  • Preeclampsia
  • Retarded fetal growth/small for gestational age

Creating a Family has several resources on the immunological connection to infertility. It is helpful to review more than one since they showcase the different sides of the controversy surrounding reproductive immunology:

More Creating a Family radio interviews with experts, videos, blogs, fact sheets, and Q and A’s with Experts on reproductive immunology can be found at the icons below.

Sources: Creating a Family radio shows on this topicImage credit: Libertas Academica

Additional Resources

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Creating a Family Radio Shows on Immunology

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Creating a Family Blogs on Immunology

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Creating a Family Factsheets, Tips on Immunology

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Creating a Family Videos on Immunology

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Expert Q and A's on Immunology