What are intralipid infusions?
How do they work?
What are the side effects?
Should I try them if I am unable to get pregnant or suffering recurrent miscarriages?
A sterile fat emulsion used as a source of calories and essential fatty acids. The infusion is made up of 20% soybean oil, 1.2% egg yolk phospholipids , 2.25% glycerin, and water for injection. It is essentially pure fat, and it’s given as a slow intravenous infusion mixed with saline.
I had to get my first infusion within 72 hours of a confirmed pregnancy and then the infusions were administered fortnightly until I was 14 weeks along. My infusions would last anywhere from 2.5 - 4 hours. You get a cannula, are hooked onto your drip and then you just need to sit back and wait.
Be sure to bring snacks, books or your iPad to keep busy.
I’ve had them done in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, but they are not easy to find if you have been prescribed this treatment under the infertility umbrella. You must have a prescription from your doctor!
There is an emerging role for sterile fat emulsion infusions in the management of subfertility and infertility. Evidence is coming to light that suggests women who suffer from recurrent miscarriages or implantation failure when undertaking IVF, may in fact be suffering the effects of an overactive component of the immune system: natural killer cells. It’s believed natural killer cells may attack eggs, sperm and even a developing embryo/fetus. This can result in difficulty achieving pregnancy, maintaining the pregnancy and ultimately, repeated miscarriages. These infusions lower your immune system, so speak to your doctor about your options.
HOW DO I KNOW / FIND OUT IF I HAVE NATURAL KILLER CELLS?
I was finally tested for natural killer cells in 2015 and it was horrifically painful. However, it only lasts about three seconds, and I would do it every day if I had to in order to get those answers again. Essentially a catheter is inserted inside your uterus and then they scrape your uterine lining, removing chunks of tissue which can then be tested. It’s exactly as pleasant as it sounds. If you are undergoing surgery for a laparoscopy/ egg collection / hysteroscopy .... anything... I would recommend having it done under anaesthetic.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?
These infusions lower your immune system, which can open you up to a variety of other illnesses. So, be careful and mindful to take into account your medical history etc. I didn't want to go on them during a worldwide pandemic, so this is the first pregnancy that I've not used them to assist and nourish my body.
My side effects were that I would get cold during the infusion, which is normal. I would also get very, very tired afterward. There are other possible side effects, but I did not experience any others from memory.
SHOULD I LOOK INTO IT?
Yes!! If you are suffering from infertility, recurrent miscarriages or implantation failure when undertaking IVF, I would ask your GP/doctor/specialist to look into the natural killer cell test, as well as these infusions.
Personally, I swear by them and they worked wonders for us.
I wanted to share this with you all because you never know who might need to hear it, thus changing their entire infertility journey forever.
Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!
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