Couple finally conceived twins after they went through five cycles of IVF and spent £25,000 over five years - after she was prescribed a diet of egg and soya oil. The rich fatty solution was found to boost IVF success rates by six times in a recent study.
Sara Conyers, 33, was drip-fed the Intralipid infusion at a fertility clinic in Nottingham to try and stop her own body destroying embryos. The technique was successful and now she and her husband Matthew, 40, from Solihull, are now parents of twin boys William and Ben.
'It's been a long and difficult journey but it's been worth it,' said Mrs Conyers. 'This whole experience has made us even stronger. I've been prodded and poked by a lot of doctors and, hormonally, I've been up and down. But we never gave up hope and always remained positive.' The teacher and 40-year-old Matthew, who works in finance, started trying for a baby immediately after they wed in August 2007.
But after six months, the pair became worried that nothing had happened so went to see their GP. Various tests found there was nothing wrong with the couple, yet more than two years later they were still unsuccessful in conceiving. They decided to go private and began IVF at CARE Fertility, in Nottingham, in January 2010.
Mrs Conyers explained: 'The first time the IVF didn't work and we were devastated. However, I'd produced 18 eggs and they were frozen so they could be used for the next two rounds I had. But still nothing happened.' That's when Sara decided to take an immunology test to find out if the real reason she wasn't getting pregnant was because her own body attacking the embryos. 'The result said I was slightly immune,' she added. 'So on the fourth IVF attempt I was given the soya oil and egg yolk. It didn't work on the first occasion - but the second time round I was so happy to find out I was pregnant.'
Intralipid infusion emerged in 2009 in the U.S as an experimental fertility treatment. It is a brand name for a fat emulsion, made partly from eggs and soya oil usually used when tube-feeding very sick patients. However, it has also been shown to lower the activity of the natural killer cells component of our immune systems.
This was found to have a beneficial effect on women whose bodies were attacking their own eggs. A 2011 study found it increased the odds of an IVF pregnancy up to six times while also inhibiting chemicals which causes miscarriages. Mrs Conyers was drip fed the solution for two hours on three separate occasions: the day her eggs were collected, the day two fertilised embryos were put back inside her body and on the afternoon she found she was pregnant. Despite being born eight weeks prematureon April 4 the twins are healthy babies and finally came home last week.
Philip Lowe, Medical Director at CARE Fertility, said: 'Our reproductive immunology programme has provided essential support for Matthew and Sara and we're pleased to have helped them achieve their dream of having a family.'
Article: 17th May 2012 www.dailymail.co.uk
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