Is there a link between natural killer cells and miscarriage?

Conceiving isn’t my problem…but I keep miscarrying. Are killer cells responsible?

What do ‘killer cells’ do to cause miscarriage exactly?

What is speculated to happen here is that the body’s natural override or suppression of NK cells in the blood may be effective, this allows conception.

However, it is thought that NK cells present in the lining of the womb (uNKs) may then attack the developing embryo during implantation, causing miscarriages.

How can I be tested for uterine NK cells?

There are two ways of measuring NK cells and their activity. One involves having a blood test. It is a reasonable first step but the relationship between blood NK cells and the ones present in the womb is not straight forward.

Another option is to undergo a procedure called hysteroscopy and curette where a sample of womb lining is taken and sent for examination for Natural Killer Cells.

What does research have to say about this topic?

While there have been studies undertaken on this subject they have yet to prove conclusive. Some analysis of studies suggests that a higher presence of NK cells (blood) is present in women with repeated miscarriages. There appeared to be no significant difference in statistics between control groups for those with uNK cells though.

It doesn’t seem to be very clear cut!

The absence of clear studies and proven data does leave some gaps in this particular topic which is why it’s important to speak to real experts like Dr Alex Polyakov at Melbourne IVF

While NK’s may be responsible for infertility problems and repeat miscarriages there are many other reasons why these things occur. Immune therapy should not be offered at this stage unless you have agreed to participate in clinical research.

Speak to the fertility experts now and put your mind at ease. Contact Us

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