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Natural Killer Cells

What Are Natural Killer Cells?

Preconditions That Prompt an Expert to Suggest Immunological Tests

A miscarriage after an IVF process could be extremely disheartening for both the couple and the IVF expert. In recent years, an extra activity of immune cells or natural killer cells has emerged as the biggest reason behind these failed IVF pregnancies or miscarriages. On an average, when a woman, under the age group of 35, faces the pain of multiple miscarriages, then mostly, experts prefer to go for a test where they can study the function of the natural killer cells.

What Are Natural Killer Cells?

Natural killer cells are the cells that make a natural occurrence in the blood cells in the form of lymphocytes or white blood cells. Certain parts of the body like Spleen, Bone marrow produces these cells, and from there, these cells circulate in the blood to take care of various attacks of infections, tumors, viruses etc. These Natural killer cells help the body in adapting an immune response for the body.

What Role Does Natural Killer Cells Play in Pregnancy?

Just like many other parts of the body, Natural killer cells appear on the uterus as well. Now, with the advancement in the studies, experts are studying their appearance in this region separately. They are trying to deduct their exact role to develop a natural killer cell treatment for an embryo. Based on the current findings, we can say that Natural killer cells affect the maternal-fetal interface of the placenta. If we go by a decade-by-decade breakdown of Natural killer cells, then we will find that, in the decade of the 50’s, the natural killer cells treatment was a forthcoming possibility in the future, because NK cells may play a part in the pregnancy. During the 60’s, this concept of foreign body attack came into existence. During this period, a theory was proposed, which suggested that, natural killer cells may recognize the embryo as a foreign body and attack it, and this attack can further increase the risk of miscarriage.

What Is the Concept of Immunological Fertility?

Immunological fertility is a term derived in common parlance, under which, people discuss the Natural killer cells’ functions and their impact over the embryo inside the body of women. Ideally, when an IVF expert suggests any NK cells test, then actually he or she is trying to judge the exact activity level of the immune NK cells through IVF in the body of women. Primarily, the function of immune cells or natural killer cells is the early detection and elimination of foreign cells that can cause tumors or other cancerous growths in the body. Natural killer cells prevent these harmful growths. Many experts, across the world, are of the belief that the mechanism of Natural killer cells treats the embryo as a bunch of foreign cells and starts attacking it. This theory of “natural killer cells” attacking an embryo is under the scanner of experts in many aspects.

What Is the Method of Natural Killer Cells Testing with Respect to Regular Miscarriages?
Natural killer cells have become an important tool for IVF experts. When an IVF expert or any other fertility expert prescribes a test like this, they want to explore two aspects. In the first aspect, their activity level in the blood is tested. Apart from it, the traditional endometrial biopsy of the uterus is also performed in order to assess the need for natural killer cells treatment as well.
What Are the Immunity Factors That Can Affect a Pregnancy?
Human body’s ability to identify foreign or threatening invasions and prevent the growth of autoimmune diseases can sometimes attack certain useful mechanisms of the body as well. Pregnancy is a foreign condition for this mechanism in many ways. During the pregnancy, the placenta invades the lining of the womb and this condition can become a potential threat to the well-being of the mother. Immunity factor or the immune system of an expecting mother responds to this condition. Ideally, it should identify this condition, but it should respond in such a way so that it does not eliminate it.
What Are the Two Mechanisms That Work to Support the Immune System?
When we have a look at the immune system of a body, then we find two types of mechanisms. First is the Cellular one or type 1, and second is an antibody or type 2. During the condition of normal pregnancy, antibodies or type 2 layer of immune system takes a front seat. This is a favorable condition for the body, because type 1 responses of the immune system can become dangerous to pregnancy sometimes.
How Do Natural Killer Cells Behave During the Course of Pregnancy?
Natural killer cells can sometimes be considered as the main immune cells available in the uterus. They follow certain behavior patterns during the course of the menstrual cycle, implementation of an embryo and during the course of pregnancy. Their number increases during the phase of the menstrual cycle to the peak time of the implantation of an embryo. Their number starts decreasing during the first 20 weeks of the pregnancy and finally disappears at the end of the pregnancy.
What Are the Various Natural Killer Cell Activity Treatment Procedures?

Natural Killer Cell Activity and their impact on the pregnancy and miscarriage are still unproven in many ways. Most experts suggest NK activity tests under two conditions

Some experts strongly suggest conducting these tests, because they want to leave no stone unturned to make the IVF process a success.

When we talk about the treatments, we can mention three immunosuppressive therapies
In the language of a common person, Steroid treatments, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatments, tumor necrosis-a (TNF) blocking agents and intralipid infusions are the processes that can help a person against the condition of NK cells attacks.

Fast Facts:

This procedure is best suited when-

You are about to
undergo Chemotherapy

You might face

You have a genetic condition that might decrease fertility


Progesterone is a hormone that regulates menstruation and prepares the uterus for pregnancy. If your progesterone levels are low, you may have difficulties carrying out a pregnancy successfully.

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