Infertility and the Microbiome


April 2018 is the 4th International Fertility Symposium in Vancouver, BC.    I have attended every conference as they are filled with valuable nuggets so I can be better prepared for the toughest fertility cases.      Not to mention Vancouver is the most beautiful large city I ever visited and the food is incredible.

A study was released just a couple of months ago that showed altered gut flora in a significant number of women that had trouble conceiving.  However, correlation does not equal causation.    It may be that the women with fertility challenges have other immune challenges These immune challenges may be cause the infertility and the altered microbiome.

Whatever the cause of the microbiome imbalance the authors concluded:

Women with infertility problems showed higher prevalence of asymptomatic vaginosis and abundance of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) associated bacteria compared to healthy women. Hence, this study recommends the screening of vaginal flora as a routine for all women, especially in women undergoing infertility treatment and also suggests the importance of vaginal culture and sensitivity in routine practice.

So what does Vancouver have to do with vaginal microbiome?  Well this year in Vancouver there will be a great talk on this exact topic.

Check out the talk  https://ifsymposium.com/talk/role-vaginal-and-uterine-microbiome-infertility

The role of the vaginal and uterine MICROBIOME in Infertility

New information is emerging about the microbiome in gynecology.  Until very recently, it was thought that the uterine cavity, fallopian tubes and ovaries were sterile environments.  Through the Human Microbiome Project, new evidence arose for the presence of bacteria in these locations.  Subsequently, researchers have attempted to categorize “normal” flora but to also attempt to determine what an “abnormal” flor may consist of.  Further studies have tried to understand what role these bacteria might play in fertility and reproduction.  This seminar explores what is now known, how it was determined, and what we can do to perhaps help our patients conceive.

OBJECTIVES:

1.To discuss the vaginal microbiome in normal physiology and when imbalanced

2.To discuss what is known about the uterine microbiome

3.To review what is known about the gynecologic microbiome and its impact potential impact on infertility treatments

I am very much looking forward to it.   It is given by a great Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr Hitkari, practicing in Western Canada.  Aye.

I’ll certainly create a follow-up post after the seminar.

George Mandler 

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