Women who experience repeated miscarriages or implantation failure after in vitro fertilization may benefit from Intralipid® therapy. Our team at The New York Fertility Center increase the chance of a successful pregnancy by administering Intralipid therapy to women with immune problems that affect embryonic implantation. To learn whether you’re a good candidate for Intralipid therapy, call one of the offices in Manhattan or Flushing, New York or use online booking to schedule an appointment.

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What is Intralipid therapy?

Intralipid is a solution containing soybean oil, egg yolk phospholipids, and glycerin. The solution is administered intravenously to provide a broad range of essential fatty acids.

Intralipid therapy is used in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) whose fertility is affected by immune system dysfunction. Intravenous infusion of Intralipid before, during, and after IVF may enhance implantation of the embryo and help maintain your pregnancy.

How does the immune system affect implantation?

During in vitro fertilization, our team at NYFC fertilizes an egg with sperm in the lab; then they transfer a healthy embryo into your uterus. Once inserted, the embryo must successfully implant in the lining of your uterus, called the endometrium.

For implantation to occur, the endometrium must be receptive. That’s a complicated process that depends on factors such as hormones and appropriate interaction between the embryo and the mother’s immune system.

Several types of immune cells contribute to a healthy endometrium. One type, called a uterine natural killer (NK) cell, has a vital role in implantation. Natural killer cells destroy tumor cells. They can be toxic, but in the uterus, they secrete substances needed for a successful pregnancy.

Uterine NK cells trigger the growth of essential blood vessels and release growth factors that support implantation and help build a healthy placenta.

What causes an imbalance of natural killer cells?

In some women, implantation failure occurs when an excessive amount of uterine NK cells are triggered. As a result, the NK cells become toxic rather than beneficial, and the endometrium can’t support the embryo. This type of immunologic implantation dysfunction can develop due to:

Autoimmune dysfunction

In most cases of immune-related implantation failure, autoimmune disease triggers antibodies, which in turn over-activate uterine NK cells.

Alloimmune dysfunction

The genetic makeup of the embryo may activate the mother’s immune system, leading to an increase in NK cells.

When is Intralipid therapy beneficial?

Women with an unusually high number of NK cells may benefit from Intralipid therapy because it suppresses uterine NK cell activity.

Intralipid therapy is usually started a week or two before your IVF embryo transfer; then you may receive a second infusion or ongoing treatments through the first half of your pregnancy, depending on your individual needs.

If you have questions about Intralipid therapy, call The New York Fertility Center or book a consultation online.