How Autoimmune Disease Affects Fertility

jz-12There are many medical conditions that belong to a group of disorders known as autoimmune diseases. The immune system that is designed to protect a person against disease becomes misdirected and attacks itself. These disorders can impact every system in the body, including the reproductive system. Women are disproportionately impacted by autoimmune disease accounting for nearly three quarters of those suffering from these disorders.

Autoimmune Disease and Fertility

When doctors treat fertility issues in these women, their approach has two goals.

  • To assist in the creation of a healthy, viable pregnancy
  • To protect the baby during pregnancy and ensure a healthy birth

In many cases of autoimmune disease, the woman’s body views pregnancy as a threat.

Any autoimmune disorder has the potential to impact fertility. The following is a listing of diseases that are known to have significant impact on the ability to become pregnant and to sustain a pregnancy:

  • Lupus
  • Diabetes
  • Graves’ disease
  • Hashimoto’s disease

Women with these disorders should consider seeking fertility treatment. Additionally, women who have had multiple pregnancy losses should consider testing for autoimmune disease.

Fertility Treatment for Those Suffering from Autoimmune Disease

As with all women, fertility treatment for women with autoimmune disease vary by individual. The first step is testing to understand the nature of the fertility issue. Issues may be related to the formation of scar tissue, hormonal issues, or attacks on the ovaries themselves. Once the nature of the issue is understood, then a personalized treatment plan will be designed to address these concerns.

Treatment options may include:

  • Fertility medication to stimulate or assist ovulation
  • The use of IVF to address issues with egg quality, fallopian tubes, or other concerns
  • Monitoring embryos after fertilization to ensure the healthiest embryos are transferred back
  • Genetic testing on embryos to avoid pregnancy lost due to genetic disease
  • Hormone supplements after pregnancy to support the pregnancy

Preeminent Diagnostic Testing Provider

To learn more about how your autoimmune disease impacts your fertility and your options for conceiving, contact New Hope Fertility Center today. Please call 917.525.5496 to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. John Zhang.

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