BCL6 Endometriosis! Endometriosis is a painful disorder caused when tissues similar to those lining the inside of the uterus grow elsewhere.
In most cases, the tissues grow in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and pelvic tissues. These tissues may cause blockage and make it impossible to conceive.
BCL6 endometriosis, specifically, is a form of endometriosis highlighted by overexpressed BCL6 protein.
Recent studies have linked endometriosis with the B-cell lymphoma-6 (BCL6) gene or protein.
Women unable to conceive spontaneously after 12 months of unprotected intercourse should see a fertility doctor for possible endometriosis diagnosis.
A BCL6 test is one of the biopsies your fertility doctor will complete when diagnosing and treating infertility.
Endometriosis & Infertility
Endometriosis affects more than 176 million women and is characterized primarily by (usually severe) pain. The endometrial tissues line the inside of your uterus and thicken, break down, and bleed during menstruation.
When the tissues grow outside the uterus, they retain these characteristics, meaning they’ll thicken, break down and bleed. Because they’re outside the uterus, these tissues get trapped with no exit to leave the body.
Trapped endometrial-like tissues will irritate surrounding tissues and cause cysts, scarring, and adhesions to form. Endometriosis can result in severe pain during menstrual periods and is one of the leading causes of infertility.
Other symptoms include pain during intercourse, pain during urination and bowel movements, excessive bleeding, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. Most women aren’t aware of the condition for several years, during which it can worsen.
The Role of BCL6 in Endometriosis
BCL6 is a protein-coding gene recently identified as an oncogene, meaning it affects cancer development. An increase in the protein encoded by the BCL6 gene can increase inflammatory cytokines that can affect the immune environment.
Recent studies have shown high levels of the BCL6 protein during the menstrual cycle secretory phase in women with endometriosis. The protein was also overexpressed in women with unexplained infertility.
Endometriosis Diagnosis & BCL6 Testing
Endometriosis is a treatable condition with unclear causes. Common speculations include retrograde (reverse) menstrual flow, in which menstruation flow backs up through the fallopian tube to the abdomen.
Other possible causes include genetic factors, immune system problems, surgery, and hormonal problems. Although the real causes of endometriosis are unknown, some physicians consider high levels of BCL6 a vital predictor of the condition and poor IVF results.
Overexpressed BCL6 protein can increase the likelihood of endometriosis and is a green light for further biopsy. Infertility doctors perform BCL6 tests, which can result in positive or negative values.
Positive results indicate high protein levels and possible inflammation of the uterine lining. Negative outcomes eliminate the concern for endometriosis, but your OB/GYN may perform other tests for conclusive determination.
BCL6 testing involves an endometrial biopsy, including a routine speculum exam. The test looks for BCL6 protein markers and is taken during the luteal phase (seven to ten days after ovulation).
Your infertility doctor may also perform a physical exam, ultrasound, MRI, and laparoscopy to diagnose endometriosis conclusively. BCL6 tests complement the other biopsies and can help diagnose endometriosis and infertility issues.
Endometriosis, BCL6 & Infertility
Endometriosis is a prevalent cause of infertility because it blocks the egg from flowing from the ovaries to the uterus. The condition also leads to implantation failures and reduces the success rates of IVF treatment.
Infertility doctors use BCL6 tests to discover inflammation in the uterine lining. Researchers associate positive BCL6 tests with endometriosis. If you’ve had a positive result, your doctor will recommend further diagnosis and treatments like laparoscopy.
However, BCL6 isn’t a complete diagnostic tool for infertility or endometriosis. Infertility doctors simply use it as a clinical tool that can confirm silent endometriosis. You should consider the test if you cannot conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse.
Women with recurring miscarriages and no further symptoms can also use the test to determine possible endometriosis. Essentially, BCL6 testing offers the foundation for other diagnoses.
Key Takeaways about Endometriosis
The term BCL6 endometriosis refers to a form of endometriosis highlighted by elevated levels of the BCL6 protein. Women who test positive for BCL6 are more likely to have endometriosis and less likely to have successful IVF.
Elevated levels of BCL6 don’t necessarily imply underlying endometriosis, but the probability is high. If you’re considering infertility treatment like IVF, your doctor will recommend BCL6 testing.
A positive result prompts further examination to rule out endometriosis. If the tests reveal endometriosis, your infertility doctor will treat the condition first before proceeding with the IVF.
Endometriosis and high BCL6 levels can prevent successful implantation and increase the likelihood of a miscarriage. If the test is negative, your doctor can proceed with IVF and monitor the pregnancy through its cycle.
Dependable BCL6 Endometriosis Testing
If you have trouble getting pregnant and have symptoms of endometriosis, you should visit a reputable infertility clinic. Your doctor will perform a BCL6 endometriosis test and process the results to inform the next step.
Popular endometriosis tests administered through clinics can detect uterine lining inflammation and predict the chances of successful transfer and implantation. Treating endometriosis can resolve unexplained infertility, recurring pregnancy loss, and failed IVF.