A new, relatively inexpensive treatment has been shown to dramatically improve the effectiveness of In Vitro Fertilization treatments, according to an article in the U.K.’s Daily Mail. The treatment involves an intravenous infusion of fluids including soy oil. The infusion seems to counteract the overactive immune response, a possible reason for IVF failures. Some believe up to 1 in 4 infertility cases are caused by immune system issues, excess white blood cells that fight the placenta and embryo as if the body were fighting a disease.
The infusion, called IntraLipid, may also reduce the body’s production of harmful chemicals that contribute to miscarriage.
IntraLipid was developed for hospital patients in need of intense nutrition. But doctors have found it to be remarkably effective as a fertility treatment: Women who were given the infusion were up to 6 times more likely to conceive via IVF than those who did not.
The infusion is given about a week before an IVF embryo transfer. And one of the best things about it is the cost. IntraLipid can be administered for about 200 UK pounds, which (just over 300 U.S. dollars). This is much more affordable than other treatments designed to reduce immune response in women with fertility problems, which can run into the thousands, making them far less accessible. And if the infusion is successful, it means fewer rounds of IVF, which can translate to an enormous savings. Which means hopeful parents will have to spend less money on getting their babies here, and more money to spend on them once they get here.