Is autoimmune disease impairing your fertility?

An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. In the United States, autoimmune disorders are more commonly found in women and is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in women of all ages including female children. The National Institutes of Health estimates 23.5 million Americans have an autoimmune disease (1). Autoimmune disorders, such as Hashimoto’s (auto immune disorder of the thyroid), Rheumatoid Arthritis (autoimmune disorder affecting joints in the body) and lupus erythematosus (affecting multiple organ systems), anti-phospholipid syndrome (affects normal proteins in the blood) share one common denominator – inflammation.

Inflammation and a dysregulation of the immune system can alter other immune related activities in the body including implantation of an embryo (fertilized egg by sperm) and getting pregnant. We know this because research studies have shown that the complex process of implantation and an establishment of a pregnancy also involves immune factors (3).

On average, 10 % of infertile couples have unexplained infertility. Auto-immune disease accounts for a part of these cases (2). If you have an auto immune disorder or have not been checked for auto immune disorder you can rule this out with simple blood work to see if this is a roadblock that needs to be addressed to restore your fertility.