Intralipid fertility treatment may cut miscarriages and boost pregnancy rates

January 4, 2011 17:16 by PrideAngelAdmin
Intralipid IV drip An experimental fertility treatment increases the odds of an IVF pregnancy up to six times while also inhibiting chemicals which cause miscarriages, a study has found. When women who had gone through IVF time and time again without success were given a soya-based substance, half became pregnant. In contrast, fewer than one in ten of those who had conventional fertility treatment alone conceived.

The doctors behind the remarkable study believe that the Intralipid liquid, a fat and calorie-rich potion normally used when tube-feeding very sick patients, could help many more women achieve their dream of motherhood.

Improving success rates would spare women the emotional and financial pain of going through repeated IVF treatments, only for them to fail. The liquid also stems the production by the body of harmful chemicals which can lead to miscarriage.

George Ndukwe, of the Care fertility clinic in Nottingham, said: ‘Every day in my clinic I see women who have had numerous IVF cycles all with the same negative outcome and no baby. ‘I also regularly see couples who have suffered the misery of repeated miscarriages. ‘People talk about the financial implications but the emotional one is as bad or, I would say, worse. ‘These women are at the bottom of a dark pit and can’t climb out and can’t see the light.

We are devoting our attention to finding answers when nature goes wrong.’ Dr Ndukwe, the clinic’s medical director, believes that up to one in four women who struggle conceiving have faulty immune systems.

It is thought that extra high levels of white blood cells called natural killer cells ‘fight’ the pregnancy by triggering the production of chemicals that attack the placenta or the embryo. The chemicals are already known to trigger rheumatoid arthritis and the arthritis drug Humira has shown promise in boosting pregnancy rates.

However, it costs up to £2,000 per patient and does not work for everyone. At around £200 per woman, Intralipid, which is given through a drip around a week before a woman has IVF, is much cheaper.

And the latest research, to be presented at a British Fertility Society conference on Thursday, shows it is also more effective at stemming production of the harmful chemicals. Dr Ndukwe said: ‘This infusion is inexpensive, well tolerated and easy to administer.’ The fertility expert ran his trial on a group of women who had failed to become pregnant despite enduring an average of six IVF attempts each. One woman had tried and failed at IVF 12 times.

Half of those treated became pregnant, compared with just 9 per cent of those not given the fatty substance. Other doctors are trying to use steroids to lower levels of natural killer cells in the body. Professor Siobhan Quenby, of Solihull Hospital and Warwick University, has already successfully used an asthma drug to curb the immune system response in a pilot trial of women who had suffered repeated miscarriages.

Article: 4th January 2011 www.dailymail.co.uk

Read more about how nutrition & vitamins help boost fertility and pregnancy rates.

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Zita West : Less stress to help conceive

June 5, 2010 19:58 by PrideAngelAdmin
Zita West For many couples, conception takes longer than you might think and one in six couples have problems conceiving. According to Britain's best-known midwife Zita West, the stress of it all can make conception even harder.

West has been baby guru to Hollywood A-listers such as Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett as well as Sophie, Countess of Wessex. At her London clinic she takes an integrated approach to pregnancy and birth, combining sound medical advice with therapies and counselling. She has a reputation for getting amazing results with couples who are struggling to conceive, particularly those undergoing IVF.

Now, thanks to her new book, Zita West's Guide to Fertility and Assisted Conception, we can all benefit from her expertise. West says she interviewed "all the top doctors in the field of fertility and IVF" for the book. Their bottom line? "When you look at what is stopping people from getting pregnant," she says, "the common theme is stress."

Around 23 per cent of infertility cases are "unexplained". But West believes that around 80 per cent of these cases could be down to the wrong mindset.

This is an area of some clinical debate. After all, women conceive in war zones and famines. And surely the last thing any stressed couples need is to berate themselves for not being relaxed enough? West agrees. "You have to take the pressure off," she says. "And that's not easy."

She starts with the basics. Many couples do not have sex frequently enough – she advises three times weekly, throughout the cycle. People also start panicking too soon. "It can take a year to conceive your first baby," she explains. "But these days the pressure starts after just a few tries."

Couples then panic and "go down the IVF route way too fast", she says. IVF itself can be dehumanising and scary. "It's all about the clinical process and very little about the state of the couple who are going through it," West adds.

To maximise your chances of conception, she recommends looking at the "big picture". You have to unpick everything from your lifestyle and physical health, to your relationship strains, self-image and work pressures.

"Many of the people I see are in their thirties. They're often exhausted and stressed. They're building careers, moving houses, building extensions, juggling," she says. But to maximise the chances of conception, you have to be in the right frame of mind - relaxed and positive. It's a tall order if you're panicking that you might never have a baby.

According to West, simple lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking or managing your weight, along with relaxation therapies can work wonders. And best of all, "couples then realise they can cope with anything".

This, at the very least, has got to be a godsend.

Read more about nutrition and fertility for conception.

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Fertility for Sale? article from The Independant

December 13, 2009 20:09 by PrideAngelAdmin
The whole area of fertility treatment is fraught with complexity and emotion. Variation in NHS provision across the country, despite an intention to end the so-called post-code lottery, causes immense resentment. Then there is the entirely practical matter of the shortage of donated sperm and eggs. And underlying much of the debate is a difference of opinion about whether having a child should be regarded as a human right or a privilege.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has now announced that it is to review several of its policies over the coming year, the general intention being to reduce risk and increase the number of people who are helped. Which is only to be welcomed. Not only does medicine advance, but social attitudes change – one instance being an earlier decision not to require any reference to a father.

Some of the questions for review have more to do with good housekeeping than principle. Would it be harmful, for instance, to raise the limit on the number of families that a sperm donor may create, which currently stands at ten? And how can the health safeguards that apply to UK donations be extended, with greater certainty, to donations obtained from abroad?

But there are other issues that are quite as contentious as removing the need for a prospective father to be on the scene for a woman to qualify for NHS treatment. One is the question of whether someone may restrict his or her donation to certain recipients – members of specific ethnic or religious groups, for instance, or heterosexual couples. Not to allow this risks reducing the number of donations overall. To allow it, though, is clearly discriminatory.

The most vexed question of all, though, is that of payment. At present, donors may be reimbursed for expenses, but the voluntary principle has been retained. It is also enshrined in EU guidelines, although the actual interpretation of the not-for-profit principle varies. In Britain, a woman may receive free treatment in return for sharing her eggs, in effect a benefit in kind.

The HFEA detects that opposition to payment may have softened, a development which – if true – may not be unrelated to the sharp fall in sperm donations in recent years. Payment, though, would create problems of its own, not just ethical, but practical: how much to pay, how to collect the money, and the inevitable rise in treatment charges to recoup the cost.

Unfortunately, the one change that might do more than anything else to increase donation – restoring anonymity for donors – is not within its power, as the original decision was made by Parliament. One predictable – but underestimated – effect of the law that gave donor-children the right to know their genetic descent was to reduce the number of donors. That is a balance that MPs had to draw. We wonder whether they would make the same judgement again.

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Boost Pregnancy chances - Lie still

October 30, 2009 21:32 by PrideAngelAdmin
Research published today by the bmj.com (British Medical Journal) reports that women who lie on their backs for fifteen minutes after artificial insemination have a "significantly higher" chance of getting pregnant than women who move around straight after treatment. Researchers found 27% of women of women who lay down for 15 minutes after the procedure went on to have a baby compared with 17% who got up and moved around. Writing in the British Medical Journal, the researches said that lying down may prevent “leakage” of sperm

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Looking to get Pregnant - What can help you increase your pregnancy chances?

October 29, 2009 20:04 by PrideAngelAdmin
Looking at your Diet can dramatically increase your probability of becoming Pregnant Increase your pregnancy chances by ensuring the following • Eat plenty of unrefined complex carbohydrates like vegetables and whole grains as well as pulses, beans, fruit and veg. Reduce your intake of sugar, white bread and white pasta as these can disrupt blood sugar and hormone balance. • Saturated fats and hydrogenated oils found in margarines, butter, hard cheese and ice cream can disrupt hormone production, so should be avoided. • Protein help to maintain steady blood-sugar levels, which is important for fertility. It also provides amino acids, which the body needs for building and repairing cells, manufacturing hormones and a healthy reproductive system. Limit protein in high saturated fat such as red meat and cheese.

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