With a little help, conceiving with an autoimmune disorder is possible
Having an autoimmune disorder can make you feel alone and confused. You may go to specialists who say things like, “We don’t know for sure because each patient is different.” This can be especially frustrating to hear when you’re struggling to have a baby. Thankfully, the reproductive endocrinologists at The Fertility Center of Las Vegas can help. Our Las Vegas infertility doctors have completed specialized training that allows them to treat even the most difficult cases of infertility. Here, our team provides a look at conceiving with an autoimmune disorder.
Which autoimmune disorders can affect fertility?
Right now, we know that certain autoimmune disorders can cause fertility issues and recurrent miscarriage. These disorders include type 1 diabetes and lupus. As for the dozens of other autoimmune conditions, it’s reasonable to think that they can also affect female and male fertility. This is because autoimmune conditions can cause your immune system to “attack” your body, which can include your reproductive system.
What do you need to know about conceiving with an autoimmune disorder?
Some patients with an autoimmune disorder can conceive on their own. This typically occurs when the autoimmune issue is controlled. However, if you’re having trouble conceiving with an autoimmune disorder, our Las Vegas infertility doctors can help. Our team will start by ordering certain tests.
For women, we’ll order bloodwork to assess your follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH). These hormones provide information about your egg supply, or ovarian reserve. If testing reveals a diminished ovarian reserve, our doctors may also check your thyroid and for antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. Thyroid issues can lead to infertility and miscarriage, while antiphospholipid antibody syndrome can cause your body to produce antibodies that attack the placenta.
For men, our Las Vegas infertility doctors can order anti-sperm antibody testing. Some men create antibodies that attack their own sperm, which can reduce the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg.
Your test results will help you and your fertility doctor design a customized treatment plan. Typically, we recommend that you get your autoimmune condition under control before trying to conceive. Doing so can often help improve your fertility. However, some patients also need help from fertility treatments. Treatments like intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) can often improve the odds of conceiving with an autoimmune disorder, while other treatments can help lower the risk of miscarriage.
Ready to learn more about conceiving when you have an autoimmune condition? Contact us to learn more about your family-building options.