Your history puts you at a higher-than-normal reproductive immunology risk. Here is what you need to know.
Your immune system is there to protect you from all strange organisms that might invade you, such as viruses and bacteria. The embryo is 50% from the father and as such, it is a stranger to your immune system. We call the embryo a semi-allograft for this reason. The immune system does not like allografts and tries to reject them, very much like a transplanted kidney.
In normal pregnancy, and when a couple has regular unprotected intercourse, the seminal fluid that contains the sperm contains also other proteins and molecules which train the immune cells of the uterus to develop tolerance towards a future embryo that will be coming to implant. This process happens in women with normal and balanced immune systems.
Unfortunately, autoimmunity is rising, and currently, at least 20% of the general population suffers from some form of autoimmune disease. Autoimmunity is the result of a deregulated immune system that is out of balance and cannot perform its job. Further, the immune system attacks the patient’s own tissues and of course, attacks the embryo and causes either implantation failure, pregnancy loss, or pregnancy complications later in pregnancy (pre-eclampsia, IUGR, fetal demise, preterm birth, etc.). Vitamin D deficiency, exposure to genetically modified foods and products, environmental pollution, and exposure to toxic substances can cause autoimmunity.
Autoimmunity during a woman’s reproductive age can cause the following:
- Premature ovarian failure
- Endometriosis (endometriosis is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease)
- Abnormal NK cell counts and activity
- Abnormally high pro-inflammatory cytokines
- Thyroiditis and hypothyroidism, abnormal antithyroid antibodies.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Kidney disease
- Pancreatic damage and insulin resistance/diabetes
- Neurodegenerative conditions
- Recurrent implantation failure
- Recurrent miscarriages
- Poor placenta development which then causes major pregnancy complications
What you need to do:
You need to ask your primary care doctor to test you for autoimmune conditions or you may visit our office and have a complete workup with us to elucidate and explain all your pathologies. Once you have the workup completed, we can help you in our office or advise your primary doctor on how to treat you during your next attempt at pregnancy. We use a combination of high-quality supplements and prescription medicines tailored to each patient’s unique needs based on the pathologies we identified. Such customized protocols increase the success rate to 80%.