Immunology Factors in Infertility: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Immunology Factors in Infertility

Immunology factors assume a crucial role in relation to infertility in women. It might be noted that anti-sperm antibodies can occur in men and women alike. Specific areas of the sperm pull in the protein molecules or antibodies. Once bonded with the sperm, these antibodies are likely to regulate the normal activities of the sperm. They tend to freeze the sperm, leading to clustering. Antibodies also inhibit the sperm’s normal functioning to seep through the cervical mucus. They also keep a tight grip on the sperm so that it cannot make any piercing into the egg. Read up the rest of this article to derive specific information on immunology factors.

Anti-sperm antibodies are commonly found in men in post-vasectomy phases. They may also occur after testicular injury or infection. Even though extensive researches have been carried out to determine the cause of anti-sperm antibodies in women, hardly has any clue been found in this regard so far.

Clinical researchers categorize particular antibodies both by type (IgA, IgM and IgG) and in accordance with the connecting point of the sperm (head, midpiece or tail). Studies related to tracing immunology factors reveal that in men, the commonest of these three types is IgG, whereas it is IgA in women. The IgA type of antibodies is found in women’s mucus and follicular infusion. However, the implication of these pathological detections is not that well defined till date. It’s been suggested that binding to the upper part of the sperm initiates penetration of the egg, while attachment with the tail has to do with movement.

Read Also: Cervical and Uterine Factors in Infertility

When it comes to determining who’s going to conceive and who isn’t, pathological tests may not provide a full-proof and definitive solution. This is scientifically proved that the physical location of the antibody is not conclusive enough to draw any inference.

Doctors have tried it several times to reduce the antibody levels by administering steroids or by getting rid of the antibodies from the sperm. But all these have yielded very little positive results. In fact, these attempts have often brought about harmful side effects and acute health complications. Insemination and ovulation induction have been tried on an experimental basis, but of little or no avail.

Surveys have unearthed a somewhat disturbing fact that approximately 20 to 25 percent of all miscarriages result in from immunology factors. Sometimes the impaired or inhibited immune system of the woman fails to identify the fetus as an integral part of her self. Hence, the fetus is taken as a foreign element and rejected.

This complication can be worked out effectively if white blood cells are artificially injected into the woman’s body prior to carriage. It prepares her physiological system to get accustomed to the cell mechanism of her partner’s body. The entire process makes the fetus recognizable as an internal source of life and not a foreign tissue.