Immunological infertility refers to the phenomenon wherein the body’s immune system starts recognizing sperm as a foreign body and attacking it. Primarily the immune system works by recognizing and destroying foreign body cells. These include bacteria and viruses. However, in some cases, autoimmunity kicks in wherein the immune response produces anti-sperm antibodies, which start attacking the sperm and thereby cause disruption to the fertilizing ability of spermatozoa.
Male pattern immunological infertility is an autoimmune disorder, wherein the immune system in a man can identify his own sperm as a foreign body. This leads to the production of anti-sperm antibodies which destroy the sperm. This has been primarily evidenced in men with testicular cancer. The exact causes, while remain yet unascertained, it is widely evidenced that the immunological response results in impaired sperm motility leading to difficulty of conception.
Various treatment options have shown promising results for men who have immunological infertility. Some of the treatment options available include – intrauterine insemination (IUI), or in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic insemination (ICSI).