At Bourn Hall Fertility Clinic, we perform Reproductive Immunology. This is the study of how the body’s immune system interacts with the process of conception and then pregnancy. There have been a number of research studies suggesting that, in some women, abnormalities of the immune system may make it more difficult to get pregnant, or increase the risk of miscarriage. Much of this is still at the research stage, but many doctors believe it can be helpful to perform some immune tests, especially in patients who
- have previously had unsuccessful IVF/ICSI treatment
- suffer from conditions known have associated immune problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, SLE and thyroiditis
- have previously had a number of unexplained miscarriages, early in pregnancy
If an abnormality is identified, treatment may be given in the form of steroid tablets, or with infusions of Intralipid, which is a mixture of fats and soya-based protein, given intravenously. This may increase the chance of a successful pregnancy occurring in appropriate cases.