Immunological sterility: diagnosis and treatment

In immunological sterility, the woman’s or man’s own immune system prevents conception. Find out here how so-called “immunological sterility” can occur and what treatment options are available.

What is immunological sterility?

Immunological sterility is when a man or woman produces antibodies that prevent pregnancy. Sperm or egg cells are recognized as foreign bodies and interpreted as a danger, so that the body fights them.

Immunological sterility in women

In some women, their own body develops antibodies against their own eggs in their blood. Such an autoimmune disease means that ovulation does not even occur and fertilization cannot take place.

Immunological sterility in men

In the case of a man, it can happen that his body fights his own sperm. If the sperm come into contact with blood after leaving the epididymis – for example in the case of injuries to the seminal ducts – the body’s own defense system reacts as if it were an infection. The result: the sperm clump together and their mobility is greatly reduced. In addition, the fertilization capacity of the seminal fluid decreases. An attack by one’s own immune system can therefore lead to partial or complete infertility in a man .

Incompatible immune systems in men and women

A rare form of immunological sterility is based on an incompatibility of the defense systems of men and women. With this so-called “immunological incompatibility” by medical professionals, the woman’s body forms antibodies in the secretion of the cervix or the lining of the uterus, which fight the man’s sperm. This means that fertilization cannot take place. In other cases, the embryo is also attacked because about half of it consists of the genetic material of the father. The result is a miscarriage .

diagnosis and treatment options

A blood test, which examines the blood for the special antibodies, is sufficient to diagnose immunological sterility. If the finding is confirmed, there are various treatment options: A so-called “active immunization” is possible. Sometimes in vitro fertilization is also an option . If you or your partner has been diagnosed with immunological sterility , you should seek detailed advice on the various treatments.

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