In the modern world, infertility is one of the global problems. Immunological infertility is the main factor for the absence of pregnancy in 5-20% of couples. In this case, the frequency of detection the immunological factor of infertility in men is up to 15%, and in women – up to 32%.
Immunological infertility, in fact, is less common among the possible reasons for infertility. However, it’s rather a serious decease. The main cause of the immunological infertility is the presence of the antisperm antibodies (ASA) in the blood or other body environments. They affect sperm cells which disrupt fertility. In men, they can be detected in the ejaculate, and in women in the uterus environment and cervical canal. Numerous antibodies can prevent sperm from fertilization of egg or reaching it. Whenever damaged by antisperm antibodies sperm managed to fertilize the egg, there is a strong possibility of complicated pregnancy carrying and miscarriage.
There are two types of immunological infertility: autoimmune and alloimmune. In the first case person’s immune system attacks their own reproductive cells. In the second, the immune system attacks enthetic cells in particular sperm and in some cases fetal cells.
The ASA can get into woman’s body during oral or anal sex. Also in very rare cases, some women might have an allergic reaction to their partner’s sperm cells. In such cases, woman’s immune system creates antisperm antibodies that attack sperm. It also could make vaginal tissues to react to the sperm, which may lead to painful sexual intercourse, rash or sores.
For its part, antisperm antibodies develop in man’s body when the semen makes contact with immune system’s cells. That happens when the testicles are injured for certain reasons. So, in the case of antisperm antibodies, the immune cells identify sperm and semen inside as hostile bodies and attack them, which resulting in the formation of antisperm antibodies.
Doctors have differences on why immunological infertility happens, however, they all agree that there are very few viable options in their treatment. The assisted reproductive medicine considers being the only successful method of treatment. In a case when woman underwent a course of treatment and still cannot become pregnant there is surrogacy, which can help to have children.