What is reproductive immunology?
Reproductive immunology is the specialism of medicine which understands the immunology behind conception and pregnancy. Nature is very clever, and it’s still intriguing to us as to how the human body accepts the pregnancy without rejecting it.
While the immune system is always fighting infections like bacterial infections, viral infections, or even the transplanted organs which are not tissue matches and will be immediately rejected by the body. However, in the case of pregnancy, for some reason, the body has been uniquely modified. There is a theory or hypothesis that the immune system tends to get mutilated during pregnancy, whether it has been blunted, suppressed, or modified. For some reason, the body continues to accept the pregnancy and carry on.
What is important to remember is this is a new science and there’s still controversy when we talk mainly in the context of the fertility treatments. There are many studies which have been supporting this theory, but equally, the same number of studies have been refuting the support for this.
However, there is a current early thinking, and in keeping with the current early thinking at London IVF and Genetics Centre, we believe that there is a role for such interventions and such treatments in the select group of patients. For example, previous IVF failure repeated treatment failures or repeated miscarriages.
We do believe there is no routine role for such interventions, but there is a role in a select group of patient’s. Obviously, we also want to contribute to the science and evolve and see how it turns out.
Reproductive immunology is of relevance only to a select group of patients, primarily with recurring implantation failure.