What is Intralipid Infusion?
Intralipid is a 20% fat emulsion that is administered intravenously. The main components are soybean oil, egg yolk, phospholipids and glycerin. It may contain trace amounts of peanut oil, so if you allergic to any of these ingredients, then you should not use Intralipid.
Why is Intralipid used in fertility?
Research has shown that Intralipid enhances successful implantation and maintenance of pregnancies in patients with auto-immune disease, recurrent miscarriages and/ or unsuccessful IVF attempts.
Normally, the lining of the uterus contains immune cells that are specially adapted to tolerate an embryo. However, when these ‘friendly’ cells are not present or effective, the mother’s immune system may attack or reject the embryo with so-called ‘natural killer’ (NK) cells. This would make it difficult or impossible for the embryo to implant in the lining of the uterus. Intralipid therapy has been shown to lower the activity of the natural killer cells of our immune system. Studies have shown that Intralipid can help to regulate the NK cells, allowing the embryo to implant on the uterine wall and grow normally.
How is Intralipid Administered?
Intralipid is administered by intravenous drip infusion over a period of 2 – 3 hours. Usual 3-4 infusions are given to establish a healthy pregnancy.
The first infusion is administered around ovulation (or at time of IUI), the second infusion after a positive pregnancy test, the third infusion after a viable pregnancy has been confirmed by ultrasound scan at six or seven weeks of gestation; the last infusion is given four or five weeks later.
After that the embryo should be established enough to develop without further Intralipid support.
What are the Risks of Intralipid infusions?
Intralipid has been used safely for over 30 years. The risks associated with an Intralipid infusion are low. Some patients may experience chills, malaise, headaches, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, shortness of breath, or an allergic type reaction. Intralipid therapy will not be prescribed for you if you have a history of liver failure, kidney disease, hyperlipidemia, or a sensitivity (allergy) to soy, eggs, or peanuts.