It has increasingly been shown that the female immune defence is an influencing factor in falling and remaining pregnant. Principally, the immune system is there to destroy foreign cells and to protect the body’s own cells at the same time. Sometimes the embryo is recognized as foreign and attacked by killer cells, which are numerous in the uterus. By removing tissue from the uterus in the second half of the cycle, the number of natural killer cells can be determined and an appropriate (immune) therapy can be initiated.
The embryo represents a big challenge for the female immune system. Since both maternal and paternal parts are combined in the embryo, the immune system should recognize this “intruder” as being foreign and reject it.
During implantation, the embryo sends messenger substances to the woman's body that initiate an immune reaction. The female body then begins to produce Fc-blocking antibodies. These prevent the embryo from being recognised as a foreign body by the immune system and rejected. However, if this reaction is weak or absent, the immune system produces the so-called killer cells (NK cells), which cause rejection, leading to implantation failure or miscarriage.
Immunotherapy suppresses the unwanted rejection and can help prevent this reaction of the body. In our fertility clinics, our experienced doctors will discuss with you whether immunotherapy is a sensible treatment method on your path to a desired child.
In our fertility clinics we recommend an immunological examination
if patients have suffered repeated miscarriages in the past.
if repeated IVF attempts have not been successful despite good embryonic quality.
if a pregnancy fails to occur despite good fertility of both partners.
During the examination, a tissue sample is first taken from the uterus in the second half of the cycle. One of our long-term partner laboratories examines the sample to check the number of natural killer cells in the uterus. If it turns out that an undesired immune reaction is the cause of the lack of pregnancy, we draw up the plan for a suitable immunotherapy. There are some treatment options to choose from:
Colony-stimulating growth factors are injected directly under the skin and help to regulate the activity of the immune cells. In this way, they improve the immune status of the female organism in favour of the embryo.
EmbryoGen medium is used in artificial insemination. It contains the growth factor GM-CSF, which creates a natural physiological environment in the IVF culture medium and improves the conditions for embryo transfer.
Drug therapy: The administration of drugs such as Neupogen©, Granozyte© or Nivestim© are intended to stimulate the multiplication of the female immune cells.
At our TFP fertility clinics, we advise you individually on the various immunotherapy options and tailor the course of treatment to your specific case.
Contact us now - we look forward to hearing from you!