While other fields of medicine have understood for some time that our immune system is a common cause of many diseases, Reproductive Endocrinologists are only in the very nascent stages of grasping how important the immune system is to unlocking the mysteries of unexplained infertility. Our immune system is what keeps us alive, but it is also the source of numerous problems. Reproductive Immunology is a field of medicine that studies the interactions between the immune system and the reproductive system. The current area of study in reproductive medicine is the role of the immune system in relation to recurrent pregnancy loss and repeated IVF failures. The immune system may react to an embryo as an “invader” and thus attempt to stop the growth of these cells. Many treatments are being utilized in the field of reproductive medicine to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system to support successful pregnancy outcomes.
For couples experiencing recurrent miscarriages, late pregnancy losses and repeated IVF failures, research and treatment in the area of immunology shows real promise, particularly in treating unexplained infertility. There are many different immunologic problems that can cause pregnancy loss, IVF failures and infertility.
Immunologic dysfunction is just one of a wide variety of problems that may lead to infertility and pregnancy loss. Indeed, a large number of pregnancies fail because of chromosomal abnormalities resulting in fetal demise. While we believe that these defects account for a very substantial portion of pregnancy losses, the defects occur randomly and thus are unlikely to be significant causes of recurrent pregnancy losses and repeated IVF failure, especially in younger patients.
The Cause of Inflammation
It is our belief that diet is the number one source of chronic inflammation and fertility dysfunction. Some of these problems can be measured with antibody testing: looking at anti-thyroid antibodies, rheumatoid factors or C-reactive protein, and looking at many other cytokines and white cell dysfunction, such as elevated natural killer cells. We can also take an endometrial sample to look at the pathology of the endometrial tissue to determine if there is abundant evidence of inflammation. CNY Fertility offers the latest diagnostic testing and treatment options available for immunological conditions. Our oocyte enhancement and implantation enhancement protocols, in conjunction with our standard protocols, provide our clients with the very best opportunity for a successful pregnancy.
Recently, we have achieved success treating inflammation pharmacologically with low-dose steroids like Prednisone, Humira, intravenous immunoglobulins and intralipids which are made up of egg protein and soy fat. The fat appears to be a successful method of reducing the inflammation in our bodies.
However, since the source of inflammation is likely related to the food we eat, it only makes sense that making dietary changes can and will reduce inflammation. There is ample evidence that excessive amounts of carbohydrates, sugars, grains, fruits, fiber and vegetables along with milk products are very inflammatory to our bodies and increase the number of antigen/antibody interactions. These white cells and cytokines that are enhanced in our bodies, in many cases, are not specific to a certain area. You might feel it in your joints, your skin, bowel, head, eyes, or you may not even feel it at all. But, you have a problem that results in repetitive pregnancy loss, failed implantation from IUI, IVF or natural cycles, or simply not conceiving.