Reproductive Immunology

The role of the immune system is to protect against disease or other potentially damaging foreign bodies.  When functioning properly, the immune system identifies a variety of threats including viruses, bacteria and parasites and distinguishes them from the body’s own healthy tissue.  The immune system will also reject tissue transplants from a donor (known as allografts) which is why people having organ transplants require treatment to suppress their own immune response.

daughter hugging pregnant mother

Although an embryo is genetically different from the mother, a unique immunological adaptation takes place to allow for the initial implantation and the subsequent growth and development of the pregnancy to occur, whilst preserving the mother’s own immune mechanisms.

If this adaptation is faulty, it may lead to infertility or miscarriage, and may even cause problems later on in the pregnancy. This may also be the case in women with a medical history of immunological conditions such as thyroid problems, lupus or ulcerative colitis.

The complex and varying mechanisms that facilitate the adaptation of the immune response to pregnancy have recently triggered great interest and controversy within the medical field. At the ARGC, we have introduced testing for levels of specific cells of the immune system since 2002, and have offered treatment that we believe can help patients with a likely immune imbalance to achieve a successful outcome. We have published the results of our work in this area of treatment, to read more click here.

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