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Immunological Connection to Infertility and Miscarriage

Although 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 in fact 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 I strongly recommend that you read this if you are considering testing for reproductive immunological problems.

Where to Start

Books, Articles, and Information
Support Groups

Where to start for information on Immunological Connections to Infertility and Miscarriage:

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Symptoms for Immune Related Infertility:

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.

General Health Problems:

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

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Books, Articles, and Other Information Related to the Immunological Connection to Infertility:

The problem couples face is finding reliable information. Not all unexplained infertility or miscarriages are related to the immune system, and testing is not inexpensive and treatment may require medication. And quite frankly, there is a lot of rubbish out there, so proceed with caution. The following resources are a good place to start.

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Support Groups:

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