Paternal Leukocyte Immunization As Therapy for Excessive Sperm Antibodies

There are various factors preventing couples to have children, one of them is because excessive sperm antibodies of the wife. For these cases, PLI (Paternal Leukocyte Immunization) therapy could be an option to quickly have a baby.

PLI (Paternal Leukocyte Immunization) or also known as Husband Leukocyte Immunization Husband (HLI) is treatment to lower sperm antibodies in women who have excessive number of these antibodies.

Excessive sperm antibodies makes it difficult for sperm to get to the egg because it is always rejected and become dysfunctional, so it does not allow for fertilization and pregnancy. Every woman who has been exposed to sperm does have antibodies against the sperm of her husband, but in some women these antibodies overreact.

The cause is the same with people who are allergic, each person has a different response, depending on the individual. Women with high sperm antibodies overreact to proteins on the sperm, so sperm is rejected and become dysfunctional.

PLI therapy is given by injecting husband’s white blood cells to area under the skin of the wife. It aims to reduce the wife sperm antibodies that can be tolerated by the body and allow for fertilization.

The injection is given at least 3 times, each is given every 3 weeks. Serum containing husband’s white blood cells will be injected at the bottom of the mother’s skin. After therapy, patients are advised to do a reassessment of imuno-andrology test. If the result has reached the normal limit then it is not necessary to continue the treatment. If not, repeated therapy can be performed to achieve normal limits.

There are several requirements that must be considered by married couples to be able to perform PLI therapy:

  1. Excessive wife sperm antibodies
  2. Husband is in good health, i.e. a blood test showed that the husband is free from infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis and others.
  3. For the wife who has any history of allergy (e.g. seafood allergy), at the time of therapy, the allergy is not in relapsed condition. If therapy is being performed at the time of allergy it can cause an overreaction.

The chance of success in reduction of antibodies can be up to 95 percent, but for the chance of pregnancy depends on the condition of the body, respectively. Difficulty to get pregnant depends on many factors. If it is indeed because of high antibodies then there is high probability you can get pregnant after reduction of these antibodies.

Before PLI therapy was invented, there are 2 ways which are usually conducted to help pair with this problem to get pregnant, that is with the use of condoms and imunosupressor drug.

Women are expected to gradually lower her sperm antibodies by limiting the exposure to sperm by the use of condoms. However, this should take a long time, about 6 months to 1 year. This will be even longer if the wife often eat foods that contain protein allergens.

Another way is to use the imunosupressor drug. Unfortunately, by using this drug all the antibodies in the women’s body will also goes down, not only sperm antibodies. As a result, the wife will often experience illness, and even affect the spinal cord that causes slow blood rejuvenation, lead to osteoporosis, the risk of diabetes, and others.

It is later found that the husband’s white blood cell immunization can lower sperm antibodies exclusively, and keep the other antibodies which are needed. PLI makes good tolerance to sperm.

The wife who has this problem will also have difficulty in getting good result in IVF. This is because the antibodies will not only reject the sperm, but also reject the fetus resulted from fertilization of the sperm. Even if IVF yields successful conception, the percentage of miscarriage is still high. This is because the wife body remained resistant to the fetus.

Women with a history of this problem in the family had a greater risk of experiencing the same thing. A history of certain food or condition allergies also increases the risk of women having excessive sperm antibodies.