What is the ALICE test? and EMMA? Do you need them for IVF?
What is the ALICE test? and EMMA? Do you need them for IVF?
If you’ve been in the fertility world for any length of time, especially if you’ve been researching the information, the dos and don’ts, and just trying to understand IVF a little bit more, you’ve probably started to hear about ALICE, EMMA, and ERA. That’s not uncommon, but one of the things you’re probably asking yourself is, “Is this the right thing for me? Are these tests what I need to finally get pregnant?” That’s exactly what one of the members in my Hope Fertility Coaching Program asked in this past week’s group coaching call. She was asking if she was the right candidate for these tests, and actually, in her case, she was not. But in your case, you might be, and that’s exactly why I’m creating this video today, to teach you a little bit more about what actually ALICE and EMMA are, and if they’re the right thing for you. So keep watching to learn more.Hi. My name is Dr. Marc Sklar, also known as the Fertility Expert, and I’ve been working with couples for over 19 years through my online coaching programs and right here in San Diego at my clinic. Recently, meaning in the last several years, this question about ALICE and EMMA has come up more, and more, and more, which is exactly why I’m diving into it today. No, they’re not somebody’s names, although that’s exactly what we might be thinking about them. They’re actually a test, and we’re going to learn more about them in this video.Before I dive into that though, I do want to let you all know that my free fertility guide, it’s an amazing resource, is available for all of you to download. All you have to do is use the link in the description below, and it gives you tons of amazing resources, the dos and don’ts, and anything that you’ve been questioning, “Should I be doing it? Should I be taking it?” I’ve tried to answer that in this free guide. So check it out by downloading it with the link in the description below.So we want to learn and understand more about testing, and you know me. I’m a big fan of testing. I think it’s really important to test and not guess when it comes to our specific needs, and we’re all individuals. Meaning, we all need different things than the last person or the next person, and so understanding, first and foremost, which test is appropriate for us, and then basing our plan on those results is really important, which is why this question comes up today.Now, in previous videos, when I start talking about testing, I have not necessarily discussed these tests or very sparingly depending on the condition. I’m going to dive into that a little bit more. Meaning, what conditions are appropriate, and when is appropriate to use these tests? But first, we need to understand if this test is necessary for you. So, to start that, we actually have to understand what the tests are.Actually, before I dive into that, I do want to just mention that this is exactly what I discuss in my coaching calls with all of the members in my coaching program. This and everything else, right? They lean on me and my team to understand where they need to go, how they need to approach their fertility, and what tests they need to run. So if you’re interested in learning more about it or joining my program, I want to invite you to apply to join my Hope Fertility Coaching Program by using the link in the description below.Okay. ALICE, just like the name “Alice,” is a test that detects pathogenic bacteria and the treatment needed for that to treat that, right, to get rid of it. So pathogenic bacteria are not good where they’re not friendly, we don’t want them, and sometimes they are in the uterus, and that can actually prevent implantation or cause endometritis. Those are two things we don’t want. Both of those cause inflammation and make it more difficult for implantation to occur.Aside from endometriosis, this is also very common with recurrent pregnancy loss or recurrent miscarriage, and we’ve been talking about miscarriage a lot in the last previous weeks, which is why I’m also talking about this here because it was a natural question that came up based on my previous videos. Actually, in women with implantation failure or reoccurring pregnancy loss, endometritis can be found in upwards of 66% of those cases, which means it’s very common. We also have seen that when we address those things. Meaning, we treat or your provider treats the endometritis and the pathogenic bacterias. Then, your chances of implantation and a successful pregnancy increase. So ALICE might actually be one of the appropriate tests for you.EMMA, also sounding like the name “Emma,” is a test that test for endometrial microbiome balance, right? So, basically, how much of each strain of microbiome are found in your endometrium or inside your uterus, and is that appropriate? Right? Do we have the appropriate balances of each one? If not, how do we address that? There are certain types of endometrial bacteria, and bacteria is not always bad, much of it is good and needed, that are seen and known to actually increase pregnancy rates. So those are the ones we want more of, right? We want to get rid of the pathogenic bacteria, which we talked about when we talked about ALICE.So these tests actually can go together, and they’re very important together because they tell us, one, do we have any pathogens? Then, two, do we have enough microbiome to address those or not? Then, what do we need to do to correct that? Often, you’re doing both of these tests at the same time. You’re not just choosing EMMA or ALICE. We’re going to use both of them to support you and get an understanding.Now, the other question starts to become, “Well, who is this appropriate for? When is it appropriate?” Well, we started to answer some of that question previously. The first thing is if you’ve had reoccurring pregnancy loss, then I do recommend that you look into and speak to your team of healthcare providers to find out if running these tests is appropriate for you and necessary.Two, if you’ve had repeated implantation failures, well, how would you know that? Well, maybe we can say a chemical pregnancy might be implantation failure. We might also say that if you’ve done repeated IVF cycles and with good embryos and implantation has not happened, then that’s also what we would say is implantation failure, and these tests may be appropriate for you as well.So what is the procedure? So this procedure is a little bit different. When we’re talking about a test, often, you all think about blood work. Well, in this case, that’s not necessarily the case. This is not a blood test. This is actually taking a biopsy of your endometrium, meaning your uterine lining, right, and sending it for testing. That’s what this is, which means there’s not many places that can do it, and many of you might be thinking, “Well, maybe my OB-GYN can do it.” Well, theoretically, they could. But most often, you’re going to find this at your fertility clinic or your REI, your Reproductive Endocrinologist who is going to be doing this. So that’s where this test is going to be done.For some of you who aren’t in that IVF world or working with a fertility clinic, that might be more challenging, but that also might be a reason why you start to work with them. Not necessarily because in the end, you want to do IVF, but because you want to do some of the testing that can only be found there. So, in the end, what’s the benefit of doing the test? Well, the benefit is, first, finding out, do you have any pathogens? Do you have inflammation? If so, then what are we going to do to address them, and then what is the health and levels of your microbiome, the good bacteria in your uterus? Right? So it’s multifaceted, the results you’re going to get, and the other benefit is that hopefully you’re going to find out what those results are, and it’s going to come with suggestions and a treatment.Now, the only person who’s going to be able to address that because typically, medication is needed there. Although I like to do things naturally, and we have successfully done that and addressed those things naturally. But typically, what’s going to happen is if they find any of those results is that they’re going to recommend some sort of antibiotic to address the bacteria, and then potentially some specific strains of probiotics to address the microbiome.Now, that is what I do naturally when our members find out that they have abnormal results in the ALICE and EMMA tests. Then, they come to us in our group coaching call, reach out to us in our program, and then we support them by creating a plan. Again, if this is something that interests you, I want to invite you to use the link in the description below to apply to join my Hope Coaching Program.So some of you might be saying, “Hey, in the beginning of the video, you talked about the ERA test, and you didn’t talk about it at all in this video.” Well, you are correct. I did not talk about it in this video because I thought the ALICE and EMMA portion of this video was much more important and not to mention, the ERA, I addressed in a previous video some months ago. I want to invite you to check that out. If you have more questions and want more answers to exactly what is the ERA test and how significant it is for you, you can go ahead and check out that video right there.All right, everyone. What did you think about this video? Was it useful for you? If so, comment below, and let me know. I want to know. Did you know about the ALICE and EMMA tests before, and what did you find interesting about these two tests? What can it mean for you? So comment below, and let me know. Again, just a reminder of my free fertility guide and the link to join my Hope Fertility Program are in the description below if you need them. If you like this video, please give me a thumbs up. If you’re not already a subscriber to my YouTube video, you need to be, so hit that bell to subscribe and find out when I put out a new video for all of you. Until the next video, stay fertile.