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Pregnancy Immunology

Let’s start with the facts:

  • it is well known that every embryo during implantation, is (normally) recognised as a foreign body, from the woman’s immune system.
  • The immune system’s reaction towards the embryo is not confined only at the early stages of implantation, but continues throughout the whole pregnancy at a different degree, and is also very likely to play an important role to the onset of spontaneous labour.
  • every pregnant woman’s immune system is normally “underactive” during pregnancy, resulting in less and weaker attacks against a pregnancy.
  • Women with obvious autoimmune conditions find it difficult to conceive and maintain a pregnancy.
  • women at reproductive age with infertility challenges, after been treated for their autoimmune problems (rheumatoid arthritis) with specific medications (anti TNF), got easier pregnant during this period
  • There’s thousands of successfully treated cases until today as there’s also even more couples trapped in a vicious circle whilst trying to have a baby, simply because they lack the right guidance that could resolve their problem simply and directly.

It is well known that all the pregnant women have a ‘calmer’ than usual, immune system during the whole pregnancy. It is very characteristic the ease with which pregnant women develop more often than the general population, harmless micro-infections, but at the same time, they have better protection against severe infections.

this “normal” state of the immune system during a pregnancy, results in most cases, to a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.

At Life Clinic we believe that the “pregnancy status” of the immune system, has the below purposes during a pregnancy.

  • To moderate the successful implantation but also the potential rejection of any recognised as “abnormal, embryos”
  • to protect the fetus especially at the early pregnancy stages.
  • to allow the optimal development of the baby during the whole pregnancy.
  • To initiate and probably moderate birth.

What can go wrong?
However, for some women, and for various reasons, their immune system does not respond normally (i.e. it does not become gradually underactive, thus harming instead of protecting the fetus), but, on the contrary, it continues to overreact as the first few hours/days, resulting in an almost continuous, although varying in intensity, attack on the fetus.

The attacks are coming in waves and probably are stronger at night.

The reaction starts at the time of implantation and in most of the cases is recognised somehow by the woman (consciously or unconsciously).

The degree and the outcome of the reaction, varies among different pregnancies of the same woman, indicating the significance of the fetus on this reaction.

What are the implications of the unsettled Immune system on pregnancy

at early stages of pregnancy: in most cases, the increased reaction towards the fetus results in an early miscarriage. Until then, the fetus is usually observed to have reduced growth in the uterus, abnormal looking sac and abnormal heart rate, when the woman is generally complaining about period-like symptoms.

at later stages of pregnancy: if the embryo survives for 12 weeks, the chances for miscarriage or abortion afterwards are reduced but the continuous immune attacks on the placenta, have as a result the placental malfunction and early ageing.

In most of the cases, the reduced growth continues at a different degree, depending on the degree of the reaction and causing a condition called IUGR and or premature birth (mainly with premature rupture of the membranes) and could lead up to endometrial death in some cases.

To the woman.
During pregnancy: TThose women can easier develop various common autoimmune complications during the pregnancy like, High blood pressure, skin reactions, frequently minor vaginal infections, Thyroid dysfunction, diabetes during pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, HELLP syndrome and pre-eclampsia (after birth).

After Birth: the up to that point suppressed immune system, suddenly presents a flair-up, in order to return to the before pregnancy state. This reaction is unnoticeable from most of the women but some of them present an overreaction that affects their body and makes their every day life difficult. This condition will ease off in few months the most.

The recovery for those women is in general more difficult and some of them struggle to cope with the motherhood responsibilities in the first few months, because of symptoms from mainly their bones and muscles (pain, stiffness..), mental tiredness and other autoimmune reactions from skin, thyroid…

At Life Clinic we know that most of those situations can be easily prevented and treated with significant relief for the pregnant women and new mothers.

What can we do

At Life Clinic, in our effort to reduce these complications and increase the chances for a healthy child, we have created successful protocols, proven with time for their efficiency and safety, in order to:

  • Support implantation.

This is the main purpose for the use of the immunological support during IVF, and the most explored.

Life Clinic’s protocols involve various medications, with different ways of action that are very effective, widely accepted and safe. Our plans focus on the preparation of the body until the time of the implantation. This is why they are customised and can change during the treatment and according to the response of the woman.

  • Support embryo development.

By controlling and supporting the immune system during the whole pregnancy and only when is necessary, we have achieved excellent results in improving the outcome of the pregnancy, for the fetus and the mother, and we have reduced the cost to the minimum required.

The immunological support as a result decreases the chronic inflammation and calms the immunological reaction. As a result, the placenta works overall better and maintains the good blood flow to the embryo. In almost all the cases, the baby’s weight and overall condition is improved after the treatment.

  • Support pregnant women’s possible complications.

At Life Clinic, in our effort to reduce the mother’s complications during and after pregnancy, and increase the chances of a healthy child, we have extended the immune therapies mainly used to increase the chances of a proper implantation for the whole duration of the pregnancy, but always with constant monitoring of the condition of the immune system with very simple tests and in combination with the continuous communication and reporting from the woman.

In the 17 years we have been dealing with this problem, our results have been impressively useful for both the pregnant woman and the fetus.

  • We have significantly increased the successful implantation rate to women with unexplained infertility and recurrent miscarriages
  • We have significantly reduced the appearance of dangerous complications to both mother and baby.
  • We have improved the quality of the pregnancy overall for those women.

Immune therapies modify the immune system but in no way induce immunosuppression. It has been found to practically bring the body into a “pregnancy state” before pregnancy, in order to successfully implant and maintain the fetus.