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20 November 2023

Breaking the miscarriage code: Cytokines

The joy of early pregnancy can be followed by the heartbreak of miscarriage, leaving many unanswered questions. The answer may lie within our cells, specifically, the intricate balance of intracellular cytokine ratios. In this blog, we will unravel the significance of these tiny signalling molecules and their impact on pregnancy success. Discover the challenges we face in understanding these ratios and the promising solutions that may hold the key to ensuring a healthy and thriving pregnancy.


 Cytokines: a balancing act

Cytokines are small molecules produced by immune cells in the body. They play a critical role in maintaining the balance between pro-inflammatory Th1 and anti-inflammatory Th2 responses. This balance is vital for a successful pregnancy, as an imbalance can lead to complications and miscarriages.

Hormone balance: A fine balance in the immune system is crucial during pregnancy. It should protect against infections while also accepting the developing foetus. An imbalance can lead to complications and miscarriages.

Intracellular cytokines ratios. Immunological tests can measure the balance between Th1 and Th2 cytokines. An overactive Th1, which is pro-inflammatory, can lead to pregnancy complications.

Treatment strategies. Depending on the test results, fertility clinics can design personalized treatment plans that may include immunosuppressive therapies to shift the balance towards Th2, fostering a favourable environment for a successful pregnancy.

Anne-Marie’s journey with Harley Street Fertility Clinic began in 2015, ultimately leading to the fulfilment of her dream of having a family. Her journey was marked by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and sperm motility issues, and involved comprehensive fertility assessments, intralipid treatments, and unwavering support from the clinic's dedicated team. The road to parenthood included IVF, ICSI, and meticulous care spanning several years. Anne-Marie's determination and the power of immunology, particularly through killer cell testing and intralipid treatments, led to the birth of her 2 children. Read her story here.


Read in the next blog about other miscarriage risks such as inherited thrombotic factors.