Couples who are desperately trying to have a baby will usually say ‘we’ll try anything’ – so when they see a story in the press about couples who have conceived after an intravenous infusion of ‘egg yolk extract and soya bean oil’, their interest is piqued. When they present at female gynaecologist Amanda Tozer’s London Fertility Clinic, they want to know if it is a treatment that could help them – and how does it work?
Who can benefit from intralipids?
In some cases of recurrent miscarriages or multiple failed IVF or IUI cycles, the cause is natural killer (NK) cell activation. With this condition, the uterine and peripheral natural killer cells react abnormally to the implantation of an embryo: the woman’s immune system goes into overdrive when it interprets the embryo as an invading cell and sends signals to the body to attack it – and, ultimately, to miscarry. Intralipid is a fat emulsion that is used to provide essential fatty acids and calories for intravenous nutrition, commonly used in patients who are unable to eat normally.
Crucially, intralipids have been shown to have a stabilising effect on cell membranes, thereby suppressing natural killer cell toxicity. Research has suggested that women experiencing recurrent miscarriage and repeated IVF/IUI disappointment may benefit from immunotherapy using intralipids.
How do I access this treatment?
Two doses of intralipids are given via an intravenous infusion as an auxiliary treatment in an IVF cycle; the first between five and ten days prior to embryo transfer and the second, five to seven days after a positive pregnancy test. Miss Amanda Tozer offers this treatment at her London Fertility Clinic where she assists many couples with a wide range of infertility problems. This treatment is not exclusive to Miss Tozer’s IVF patients but also available to those receiving IVF elsewhere.