Although considered controversial, Lymphocyte Immunization Therapy (LIT) is a type of immune treatment that provides hope for women that are suffering with unexplained recurrent miscarriage.

LIT is a procedure recommended by Dr Alan E. Beer, widely considered to be a pioneer in the field of reproductive immunology. Our very own Fertility Consultant, Dr Gorgy, received his training in reproductive immunology from Dr Beer and has worked alongside him.

Reproductive immunology is the theory that a foetus can be rejected by the immune cells in the mother’s body. With a healthy pregnancy, the mother’s body adapts to the foetus and carries the baby to full term. Reproductive immunology suggests that the natural killer cells in the body, which play a role in keeping the body from developing cancer, can exist in excessive levels. This then interferes with the endocrine system which produces the hormones essential for a successful pregnancy, and can also make the environment in the uterus unfavourable for the pregnancy, resulting in miscarriage.

Reproductive immunology involves analysing a patient’s immune system and administering the appropriate immune therapy. LIT is just one of a variety of immune treatments. It’s considered controversial because it is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration in the USA only as a research set up and isn’t offered by the NHS. It’s only available privately at a few clinics in the UK (which include The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy).

Dr Gorgy explains: “The associated risks from LIT are no greater than the risk presented by any other vaccine we give ourselves to prevent infection. However, there is much debate around the effectiveness of immune treatments, including LIT. Although four out of six recent meta-analysis studies showed a significant improvement of live birth rate after Lymphocyte Immune Therapy (LIT) in treatment of recurrent miscarriage, large scale studies are still needed to confirm the approach and so more research is required in the field.”

What is Lymphocyte Immunization Therapy (LIT) For Recurrent Miscarriage?

LIT was developed to help prepare the immune system for pregnancy, so that instead of the immune system attacking the embryo or foetus, it can help acclimatise the prospective mother’s body to the foreign cells. It is thought that LIT helps to develop a tolerance to the prospective father’s cells in preparation for pregnancy so that the immune system may accept the pregnancy, rather than reject it.

Women with recurrent miscarriage or implantation failure might have low Leukocyte Antibody Detection (LAD) levels, an antibody which reacts in a way to protect pregnancy. With LIT we perform what is called a Leukocyte Antibody Detection (LAD) test which ascertains the levels of these antibodies in the blood. In women with recurrent miscarriage and implantation failure LIT has been shown to improve the live birth rate, although more studies are needed. .

LIT treatment for recurrent miscarriage involves extracting white blood cells from the prospective father. The blood sample is then examined and a concentrated solution of white blood cells is then injected into the prospective mother using a series of shallow injections into the forearms. The treatment is administered twice with a 3-4 week gap.

Here at The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy we offer LIT treatment in the UK from our fertility clinic in London. “Whilst I don’t want to give patients false hope, I do believe we can offer patients with a history of recurrent miscarriage or IVF failure a better chance of success with immune treatments like LIT.” comments Dr Gorgy.

To discuss whether reproductive immunology and LIT could be right for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and our admin team will be happy to answer any questions you have. Simply call our London clinic on 020 7224 1880.