The Impact of the Microbiome on Fertility
The gut microbe is all a buzz and represents a gurgling lifeblood of existence. Perhaps the premier “influencer” of all other systems biologic. The intestinal flora play key roles in: metabolics, nutritional balance, immunity and, of course, reproduction and fertility.
Broadly speaking, understanding the microbiome, its influence and balance helps us to understand what may go wrong and these influences, and what balances are advantageous. The first set of targets appear to be chronic diseases and inflammatory diseases. These conditions include: inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), cancer, metabolic syndromes, and diabetes. There may be both overt and subtle influences which govern the crosstalk in our bodies – move over social media influencers. The microbiome has survived the test of time.
The Impact of the Microbiome on Fertility?
In fertility, we may see some similarities. In fact, there exists assessments to look at uterine receptivity. Part of the uterine receptivity and willingness to accept an embryo for implantation and promote its growth is genetic and microbiome. Already exists the ERA (endometrial receptivity assay). It looks at approximately 280 genes expressed at the time of implantation. But it may not be just turning on and off of genes (the light switch). The microbiome may be the dimmer switch. We know that a lactobacillus dominant environment may promote implantation – or at least, a non-lactobacillus environment may impede the process.
What remains on the horizon is how the gut microbiome affects fertility. If components of infertility are governed by the gut microbiome, will some of the therapies involve modulation or replacement of the gut flora? It may not be as easy as simply ingesting a probiotic. Recall, that the acidic environment of the stomach (specifically designed to be), should destroy much of the invading bacteria. It may require to specifically to introduce new flora beyond the stomach and into the small intestine.
Fertility Centers of New England remains committed to providing care that centers on you and your individual needs. If you have any additional questions on the impact of the microbiome on fertility or are having difficulty conceiving, please contact us to schedule an initial consultation.
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