Autoimmunity & Infertility


Since autoimmune diseases are often chronic, they may require lifelong care and monitoring, even when the person may look and feel well. Currently, few autoimmune diseases can be cured or made to disappear with treatment. However, many people with these diseases live relatively normal lives when they receive proper medical care.

CHR Explains

Infertility Treatment

As the causes of autoimmune diseases are not well understood, it is not surprising that we still lack specific treatments for the various conditions. What we can treat are usually selected symptoms of diseases, which, at times, may include infertility. Indeed, mostly through Dr. Gleicher's work, we, in some women, have come to see infertility as a fairly typical early symptom of abnormal female autoimmune function.

Because of our special expertise in this area, CHR sees a large volume of women with clinically overt autoimmune diseases who suffer from infertility and/or pregnancy losses. Equally importantly, we have seen many women with subclinical autoimmunityautoimmunity suffering from similar fertility problems. The good news is that with aggressive treatment addressing the unique issues caused by autoimmunity, most autoimmune patients can conceive and deliver healthy children.

In a preliminary, though quite provocative, study published in 2006 in the Journal of Autoimmunity, Dr. Gleicher for the first time suggested that the risk to develop autoimmune disease may be influenced by the way children are being delivered: Cesarean section delivery may reduce the risk to offspring, while at the same time increasing the maternal risk to flare her condition.

For more information on Dr. Gleicher's research see Scientific Publications.

Read more about Autoimmunity & Infertility

Last Updated: November 15, 2014

Additional Resources

Inflammation and the Immune System We recently in the VOICE announced CHR’s new Reproductive Immunology Initiative, pointing out that recent research in other areas of


2017-2018 Influenza season kicks off The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) on October 25, 2017 published an “Immunization Newsletter,” pointing out that...

Get a Second Opinion
second opinion cta

1/3 of women who have been told they need egg donation actually wind up conceiving at the CHR with their own eggs.