In addition to being investigated for having an insufficiently selective womb, last week’s biopsy was taken to determine if NK cells are elevated in my womb lining.
Natural killer cells I’m told are good, despite their name. They appear apparently in the womb at the time of implantation (which is why they do the biopsy a week after ovulation) and determine whether the womb is short on steroids to support a pregnancy. You can read more about what they do here. And there’s also a study I found interesting.
Apparently if the tissue taken from the biopsy shows that there were too many NK cells at the surface of the lining then treatment may be required to reduce the number of cells that might be impeding growth of the embryo.
Treatment in my case would be with steroids. Prednisolone I’m told reduces the amount of oxygen in the womb which subsequently reduces the amount of blood vessels. Apparently excess oxygen and blood vessels are harmful to a developing embryo and the goal is to create an oxygen free environment, more like a normal womb.
I won’t even go into the huge list of side effects from the steroid treatment: moon face, weight gain, migraines. Won’t worry about this until we get results. All are obviously worth it if we get to bring a little one home one day.
I’m meant to have blood tests for NK cells as well under investigation by a private doctor. Not the uterine kind, but the kind circulating in the blood. There seems to be some disagreement between immunological camps as to whether general blood NK cells are harmful to pregnancy. That’s a whole other issue, whether we decide to pursue that form of testing. For now we will focus on the womb lining kind.
Who knows if this will be another battle to overcome. We’ll find out in four weeks.
Have any of you been tested for uNK cells and if so what kind of results did you get?