Microscopic view of Sperm and egg cell. 3d illustration

Quel est le lien entre l'infertilité et le système immunitaire ?

The body’s immune system is our first and major line of defense against diseases and invading germs. It’s comparable to soldiers stationed at the boundaries of a nation, always prepared to defend against any kind of attack. The body’s immune system has the wisdom to differentiate between the normal body cells and foreign/invading cells.

Que se passe-t-il ?

It may trigger off a local or widespread alarm response or attack against invading microbes. It may also keep memories of those offending cells, so it may repel them if they ever show up next time. The body’s immune system functions just like a perfectly set up machine. However, it does have its shortcomings. There might be instances when, for some reason, it breaks down and leaves the body at the mercy of invading microbes.

There might also be instances when the ability to differentiate between cells and foreign cells goes sour and the immune system will turn its arsenal of assault against ordinary healthier body cells it’s suppose to protect, causing harm to the body. The immune system plays a very important role in normal body function and the reproductive system isn’t excluded. Several cells of the immune system assist in the reproductive procedure. For instance, some inflammatory cells and their secretory products are important in ovulation and in the preparation of the endometrium of the uterus for the implantation of the fertilized egg.

Dysfunctions

It’s thus not surprising to learn that any dysfunction of the immune system would interfere with the reproductive process and by extension, fertility. As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that around 20% of otherwise’unexplained’ infertility in couples possess a resistant factor involved. There’s not so much scientific proof to link immune components to infertilitynonetheless, there’s a strong scientific evidence to implicate the formation of antibodies against sperm cells as a significant infertility element.

Normally, the sperm cells are protected from the reach of the immune system by tight relations between the cells lining the male reproductive system, a natural protective mechanism called the’Blood Testes barrier’. This protects the testes from having any contact whatsoever with the bloodstream, where the vast majority of immune cells are housed. Any injury or condition that compromises this barrier provides the immune cells accessibility to the sperm cells. The immune system, not knowledgeable about these sperm cells, due to the barrier separating them, treats the sperm cells as foreign cells and anti sperm antibodies may be formed.

Anti sperm antibodies

These are usually commoner in infertile men. Almost 10 percent of infertile men have anti sperm antibodies compared to approximately 1 percent of fertile men. The most serious risk variable happens to be operation on the reproductive system. Nearly 70 percent of men who have undergone a vasectomy reversal would have anti sperm antibodies present in their semen. Inguinal hernia surgical repair, especially before puberty. It’s astonishing to notice, however, that many men with anti sperm antibodies have none of those conditions.

This shows that each and every person with fertility issues is at risk of the condition, particularly when no other reason was diagnosed with the infertility. Women also stand a chance of anti sperm antibodies. It’s thought that about 5 percent of women with fertility issues could have these antibodies. What’s not clear is who’s in danger for their formation. Fortunately, intra uterine insemination, which involved putting’treated sperm cells’ to the uterine cavity of a female, hasn’t been proven to induce the formation of anti sperm antibodies.

Conclusion

The immune system has also been shown to affect the ability to take pregnancy in some women. In women with recurrent pregnancy loss, there’s a group of antibodies that seem to attack an early growing pregnancy, leading to either a miscarriage or severe preeclampsia with risk of intrauterine growth retardation or even premature death death. These antibodies are jointly known as anti phospholipid antibodies and testing for them should be an essential part of the workout for recurrent pregnancy loss. It’s still unclear if these antibodies affect the ability to get pregnant, but some doctors are of the opinion that the presence of these antibodies may decrease the likelihood of pregnancy via an invitro fertilization. There are still several controversial areas as it pertains factors and infertility. However, what is clear is that the immune system actually does affect your fertility if things go wrong.