How Is a BCL6 Test Used To Predict IVF Failure?

How Is a BCL6 Test Used To Predict IVF Failure?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex series of procedures used to assist with the conception of a child. It involves fertilizing an egg with sperm outside the body and then implanting the resulting embryo into a woman’s uterus. Though success is possible as doctors and researchers continue to work on treatments and improvements, IVF failure can still occur. The potential causes of IVF failure consist of biological, environmental, and technical factors that are interconnected in various ways. Here is information about BCL6 testing and its relation to predicting IVF failure:

Testing For BCL6

The world saw the first successful IVF birth almost 40 years ago. Today, an estimated 200,000 cycles are performed annually in the United States alone. The success rate remains around 50%, which suggests the possible presence of endometrial deficits. BCL6 is a gene that encodes a tissue-building protein and has been found to be a significant component in the area of fertility. Doctors and reproductive specialists may administer a BCL6 analysis test if patients show signs of inflammation or for patients who haven’t yet had a successful embryo transfer.

BCL6 testing allows doctors to better understand the level of the BCL6 protein present in a patient, which may be a factor in their IVF failure or success. BCL6 can be elevated due to swollen fallopian tubes, silent or typical endometriosis, or infection or inflammation in the peritoneal cavity or within the lining itself. Whatever the cause of the positive reading, doctors and reproductive specialists are often able to treat the BCL6 protein once an embryo transfer takes place.

Testing for BCL6 involves an endometrial biopsy during an office visit with an OB-GYN or reproductive specialist. It’s a minimally invasive process performed under anesthesia. The sample is sent to a laboratory where teams perform a pathology report to identify BCL6 levels. Patients should expect results within five to six days. After discussing the results with a specialist, treatment plans can then be implemented if levels are positive.

Connecting Endometriosis and BCL6 With IVF Failure

Endometriosis is a complex disease and is a form of uterine inflammation. It affects millions of women around the globe and is often painful. BCL6 is induced by inflammation and is associated with endometriosis, which has been proven to impact implantation and/or pregnancy loss. If positive BCL6 levels are left untreated, IVF failure is more likely to occur. Studies have shown that after identification and treatment of endometriosis, many patients were then able to conceive. Testing helps patients get to the root of their unexplained fertility, which can help improve the chances of a successful pregnancy. 

BCL6 pairs with a histone called deacetylase sirtuin-1 (SIRT1). Together, they are key regulators of progesterone actions within the endometrium. Progesterone is needed for successful pregnancy, and BCL6 appears to be a predominant cause of progesterone resistance. This can be a major factor in endometriosis, often resulting in infertility. Overexpression of BCL6 has a high positive predictive value (PPV) when diagnosing endometriosis and is helpful when identifying populations that may require treatment(s) before an embryo transfer. Over 90% of patients who tested positive for BCL6 had laparoscopic findings of endometriosis. By treating endometrial inflammation, studies have shown improvements in live birth rates.

Treating BCL6 to Aid in IVF Success

Diagnosis and assessment of endometriosis involves the location of the disease and severity of symptoms. Recurrent inflammation can cause tissue damage, leading to scar tissue and possibly adhesion formation. Depending on the location of the disease in the body, different symptoms may be present. Decreasing inflammation caused by endometriosis helps create a stable environment for an embryo to grow.

If a patient has tested positive for BCL6, treatment options are available. Laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive and uses a small tube with a camera and light. This allows a surgeon to view signs of endometriosis and take a sample or biopsy. During the procedure, they can also remove any cysts, implants, or scar tissue caused by endometriosis. Hormone therapy is another treatment possibility, and for those opting for IVF transfer, Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone (Gn-RH) agonists may be an option. This hormone treatment lowers estrogen production, causing the endometrial tissues to shrink.

Ask About BCL6 Testing

Knowing BCL6 levels helps patients make more informed decisions on their options. Ongoing research allows specialists to further understand the role of BCL6 in endometriosis, which can aid in the development of new therapies designed to target progesterone resistance and infertility concerns. Work closely with a reproductive specialist for the latest testing options, treatment approaches, and management methods.

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