All about Immunological Infertility – May 2019 CHR VOICE Digest

As we had planned on returning to reproductive immunology as a main subject for the June issue of the VOICE, our colleague Jeffrey Braverman, MD, who had made reproductive immunology his clinical life’s main subject, at unreasonably young age passed away (see his obituary on page 3). This issue of the VOICE has, therefore, become an unplanned testimonial to Dr. Braverman’s appreciation of the importance of reproductive immunology, as we here describe how much (or should we better say, how little) is known about how the female immune system under normal pregnancy circumstances manages to “accept” and immunologically “tolerate” an implanting “parasite,” the embryo. This parasite then, on top, demonstrates exponential growth over an average 38 weeks of intrauterine life, before, ultimately, being rejected by the maternal immune system by ending tolerance in a process leading to labor. Despite significant progress in understanding of the immune system and how it, actually, in many of its functions cannot at all be separated from the endocrine system, reproductive immunology has remained a controversial area of reproductive medicine, though increasingly difficult to ignore (as most of the infertility field has done for much too long). Boundaries between these two distinct specialties, may just have been drawn up by still limited human knowledge!

In this issue of the CHR VOICE, we cover:

Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.