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Egg yolks and soya: a possible fertility treatment?

A couple who spent six years trying to become pregnant via in vitro fertilization are now parents to a baby boy – Joseph – thanks to an egg yolk and soya treatment. Cathy Garvey and her partner Dan Bowley underwent four unsuccessful cycles of IVF, one of which sadly ended in a miscarriage. After countless tests, the doctors discovered that Cathy’s body was “immune” to pregnancy, in that her cells “attacked” embryos that were transferred into her uterus. The doctors suggested that a controversial new treatment being developed in Britain might help.

The treatment, called intravenous intralipid therapy (IV for short), contains soya bean oil, egg yolk, glycerin and water, and is administered through an intravenous drip. It is based on the belief that when an embryo tries to develop in some women’s wombs, their immune system goes into overdrive and tries to destroy the embryo as if it were a bug or virus. The IV mixture appears to fight these cells, and increase the likelihood of the embryo implanting and growing normally. The IV mixture is high in calories and administered twice before conception and three times after transfer. It is also recommended that women take steroids, which can suppress the immune system, and blood thinners to prevent blood clots from developing, which can also negatively impact implantation of the embryo.

For their part, Cathy and Dan are thrilled to be parents after several heartbreaking years of trying to conceive. According to Cathy:

“It was worth every penny because we got Joseph in the end. We did have to put off our wedding because we couldn’t afford it after spending so much money on fertility treatment. But Joseph is perfect. He’ll be the guest of honour at our wedding.”

Read more here.


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