In a nutshell
This study looked at how common allergies are among couples with infertility. This study found that allergies were common among women with infertility.
During pregnancy, a woman’s immune system undergoes adjustments to accept the unfamiliar tissue of the fetus. This involves white blood cells, including T cells. Women who have repeated miscarriages are more likely to have unusual T cell activity and inflammation. Some studies suggest that this inflammation may also be related to male infertility.
Allergies are also caused by unusual immune system function. Whether allergies and infertility are related is unclear.
Methods & findings
This study used records from 493 couples with infertility being treated with in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the United States.
54% of female patients had at least one allergy. The most common allergies were to antibiotics (54.7%) and non-antibiotic medications (39.2%). Among male patients with complete records, 21.7% had an allergy.
Among couples with complete data, 14% of couples (both partners) had at least one allergy. 76.5% of female patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome had at least one allergy. In the general US population, 10 to 30% of people have an allergy.
458 couples were seeking to become pregnant during a single IVF cycle (rather than freezing all embryos). Among these couples, more embryos were transferred among couples with an allergy (2.07 embryos) than those without an allergy (1.81 embryos).
Among women aged 35 to 37, those with an allergy were less likely to have a successful IVF cycle compared to women with no allergies (29.1% vs. 42.8%).
The bottom line
This study found that allergies are more common among women treated with IVF compared to the general population. However, the authors suggest that allergies were not significantly associated with IVF outcomes.
The fine print
A quarter of male patients had missing data. The patient population was not racially diverse (90.7% white). Patients with different allergies were grouped together due to the limited number of patients. More studies are needed to confirm these results.
Published By :
Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics
Jan 21, 2020