What is Reproductive Immunology?
There is mounting evidence that suggests the immune system plays a major role in recurrent pregnancy loss (miscarriage). This problem arises particularly in women with immune disorders, whether such afflictions are dormant, active or undiagnosed.
How do I know if the Reproductive Medicine Center is for me?
The Reproductive Medicine Center can help couples who are able to conceive (either naturally or through assisted means such as IVF) but have miscarried multiple times. Proper assessment and treatment can result in significantly increased chances of a successful pregnancy.
I’m not sure if I even have an immune disorder that is causing my pregnancy losses. How can the Reproductive Medicine Center help me?
Dr. Kwak-Kim looks for immunology disorders by performing a thorough review of a woman’s medical and reproductive history; this includes a physical examination, a variety of blood tests (many of which Dr. Kwak-Kim developed herself specifically for reproductive medicine purposes), and diagnostic evaluations such as ultrasound with Doppler flow studies (to detect blood flow levels in the reproductive organs), an endometrial biopsy, or a hysterosonogram (using ultrasound technology to examine the inside of the uterus).
What kind of immune disorders can cause pregnancy loss?
There are many different causes of immunological disorders, and while not all women suffering from an immune disorder will have difficulty with pregnancy, some of the most common immune issues causing fertility problems are increased natural killer cell activity, blood clotting disorders, and connective tissue disorders (such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis).
What are natural killer cells? How do these cells affect pregnancy?
While natural killer (NK) cells are the body’s natural way of protecting itself from illness and infection, some women’s bodies produce NK cells that are in effect too efficient. In these cases, the NK cells view an embryo as a foreign body, something that shouldn’t be there. The NK cells attack the embryo and tell the mother’s body to reject the embryo, which in turn causes a miscarriage. Women suffering from blood clotting disorders or who are predisposed to blood clotting, as well as women with connective tissue disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, may also experience recurrent pregnancy loss.
What can I expect when I arrive for my first visit to the Reproductive Medicine Center?
You will have an ultrasound examination performed by our sonographer, blood drawn by a member of our nursing staff, and a physical examination and consultation with Dr. Kwak-Kim. Due to the comprehensive nature of this first visit, we recommend you allot approximately 3 hours for your visit.
How far is Vernon Hills, IL, from Chicago?
Our office is approximately 26 miles north of O’Hare International Airport, and 35 miles north of the city of Chicago. It takes about 1 hour to drive from Chicago to Vernon Hills, depending on traffic.
I'm coming from out of town and would like a hotel near the Reproductive Medicine Center - where can I stay?
For your convenience, we've compiled a list of hotels located within 5 miles of the Reproductive Medicine Center. Click here for more details and hotel contact information.
More information coming soon! Still have questions? Call 847.247.6900.