The New Clinic Part 4 : Uterine Natural Killer cells

Part 1 Super Fertility
Part 2 Super Fertility treatment
Part 3 The Biopsy

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?

8 thoughts on “The New Clinic Part 4 : Uterine Natural Killer cells

  1. I haven’t had any of these tests, but I wanted to thank you for sharing everything that you are going through, as it gives me more knowledge to go into my meetings with my Dr. I hope the tests give you something specific to work with (I know we all would prefer to actually have something wrong with us, so that it can be treated). I know that’s not the news the Dr would like though. Good luck with the rest of your journey!

  2. I also echo Biana’s words- Thank you for sharing your experience. I have heard of this testing before but most doctors won’t consider it. I am glad you found a doctor that is testing for it. I truly believe that is a problem with recurrent loss. I have read on plenty of forums that suppressing the immune system does work.

  3. Pingback: The New Clinic Part 5 : A fresh perspective | Project Sweet Pea

  4. Pingback: Can of worms | Project Sweet Pea

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