Infertility can be the most difficult thing a couple faces. Just take a look at Babble’s own Melanie Blodgett. Her heartfelt writing on the topic really tells the tale of the heartbreak each couple feels when struggling to have a child.
If I found myself in a similar such position I know I would try just about anything to have babies. Hell, if I thought swinging a dead cat around a cemetery at midnight while crowing at the moon, you could be sure to find me at the cemetery that very night.
That’s why I can totally understand why 38-year-old Leanne Blackwell and her husband Andy, 48, turned to chicken yolk after spending thousands trying to conceive by IVF.
After reading about the possible effects of her immune system on pregnancy, Leanne requested an immunology test. The test revealed that Leanne body was producing a high number of killer cells which would treat any fertilized embryo as a foreign body. Basically, what was happening was that Leanne’s overactive immune system was producing cells that were killing her fertilized eggs before they could develop and implant.
The doctor told the Blackwells that injecting her with protein taken from a chicken egg might lower Leanne’s immune system. Research shows the fatty acids in the egg reduce the number of killer cells in the immune system. So Leanne was given a solution containing a combination of egg extracts and soy oil through a drip, before being inseminated, again, with the couple’s fertilized eggs. The whole procedure was relatively inexpensive, especially compared to how much money the couple had spent on IVF over the years. It sounds similar to what my colleague Rebecca reported on earlier this year.
After nearly a decade of longing for a little one, Leanne found out she was pregnant last May. After discovering she was expecting, it was important to maintain a low functioning immune system while the baby was developing which made her extra susceptible to infection and disease, so Leanne had to be really vigilant throughout her pregnancy.
“I got a couple of bouts of food poisoning which wasn’t nice. But everything was worth it in the end”. Leanne gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Martyn, this past February.
“It’s amazing to think that something quite simple has given us our baby…Holding Martyn in my arms for the first time was amazing, and the fact we had waited for so long made it all the more powerful,” Leanne tells The Daily Mail. “I didn’t realize how depressed I was getting about not being able to have a family…It seemed like pregnant women were everywhere, and it was just a reminder it wasn’t happening for us.””
Simon Thornton, Group Medical Director, CARE Fertility said: ‘We believe that this treatment is important for women and families because there seems to be a subset of fertility patients who have developed, effectively, over active immune systems and this is contributing to their fertility difficulties.
You can see pictures of the happy family here.