Examinations of couples with fertility disorders
Our aim is to „put things together“. Couples which experienced many years of hardship during which they attempted to have a child, underwent a series of examinations. However, it was often not possible to put all information together (examinations were individually performed in various facilities) and find a reason for failure. Often it was only the woman who was in treatment and her male partner “with normozoospermia” was automatically considered healthy. By performing all examinations in a single laboratory where the couple usually arrives together we have a comprehensive overview and a greater chance that we find a reason for fertility disorders. If you already experienced immunological tests in another clinic (including allergology), then it is advisable to bring the reports to your gynecologist and scan them for the information system.
Examination of the immune system of both partners should be included in the care of couples with fertility problems. It is believed that approximately 10% of all sterility cases have immunologic causes. Disorders can occur both in the so-called humoral (antibody) and cellular immunity. Fertility of the couple may be affected by diseases such as celiac disease, disorder of the thyroid gland, antiphospholipid syndrome, previous chronic inflammatory diseases and the like. These diseases can occur in secrecy without apparent difficulties. Yet they start an inflammatory response in the body and thus disturb the balance of immune mechanisms in the body. Pregnancy needs to induce immunological tolerance since inflammation affects it. The consequence is that women are unable to conceive, whereas men fail to form sperm in sufficient quantity and quality.
The aim of immunological tests is to diagnose the cause of imbalance, treat the cause accordingly and restore the balance. Without sufficiently long and immunologically targeted treatment there are repeated failures of IVF treatment, the partners come under stress and their health continues to deteriorate.
When is the testing carried out?
Immunological examination is appropriate in the following cases:
- In couples that are unable to achieve pregnancy after one year of regular unprotected intercourse when other possible causes of sterility were excluded
- In women after two miscarriages in the first trimester or one miscarriage in the second trimester
- In couples after two IVF failures
- In couples that were diagnosed a disease related to immunity disorder (such as autoimmune diseases, oncological diseases etc.)
What immunological investigations for infertile couples are offered?
Panels of examinations are designed to meet the requirements of Reproductive Immunology Section of the Czech Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergology.
Sets of examinations are divided into the basic panel, which contains basic screening, and the complete panel, which contains a detailed analysis of a number of parameters including functional cellular tests. The physician recommends an appropriate set of tests depending on the type of disease. If we find positivity in the basic panel, it is recommended to add the appropriate group of examinations. Immunology laboratory offers for instance complete allergy testing in addition to these so-called “reproduction packages”.