Soya and egg yolk, the ingredients for motherhood: Woman who had FIVE cycles of IVF finally has twins after being put on special diet
The rich fatty solution was found to boost IVF success rates by six times in a recent study
23:41 GMT, 17 May 2012
After four exhausting and expensive attempts at IVF failed, Sara and Matthew Conyers feared they were never going to have a family of their own.
But five years after the couple’s fertility nightmare began they are celebrating the birth of twins – thanks to the help of a side treatment which involved Mrs Conyers being drip-fed a diet of egg yolks and soya oil.
Doctors believe it could help more women achieve their dream of motherhood, with studies showing the concoction has a remarkable success rate at overcoming an immune system problem in which ‘killer cells’ attack a fertilised embryo.
A delighted Sara and Matthew with their twin boys William and Ben who were born following a fifth round of IVF
Mrs Conyers, 33, a teacher, and her husband Matthew, 40, a financial adviser, began trying for a child immediately after they married in August 2007.
After two and a half years with no pregnancy the couple decided to try private IVF treatment.
However, the first three attempts – costing 5,000 each time – failed and Mrs Conyers was told cells in her immune system were attacking the fertilised embryos.
She was then offered ‘intralipid infusion therapy’. The blend of soya oil and egg products, high in calories and essential fatty acids, is usually used as a nutritional boost for post-operative patients and premature babies. It is thought the mix has a stabilising effect on cell membranes, which makes it harder for killer cells to attack.
Content: The newborns pictured sleeping at home. Although Mrs Conyers had the treatment during her fourth IVF course, it took a fifth attempt before she became pregnant
William and Ben, pictured in hospital, are now six weeks old and at home with their parents
Mrs Conyers, of Solihull, West Midlands, said: ‘We didn’t have a holiday for five years but it was all worth it when I found out I was pregnant in October last year. We were more than a little ecstatic.’
Although Mrs Conyers had the treatment during her fourth IVF course, it took a fifth attempt before she became pregnant.
On April 4 she gave birth at Worcestershire Royal Hospital to boys William and Ben, who were two months premature.
William was the first to be born, weighing 3lb 2oz, followed two minutes later by Ben who tipped the scales at 3lb 10oz.
Precious cargo: William and Ben were born four weeks premature
Mrs Conyers said: ‘The first time the IVF didn’t work 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.
‘On the fourth IVF attempt I was given the soya oil and egg yolk. I thought it was a bit odd but by that time I was willing to try anything.
‘It was just like a normal drip in your hand but a nurse came to the house and did it.
‘I would recommend anyone who is struggling with IVF to try it – it has made our dreams come true.’
The couple spent a total of 25,000 on IVF courses.
Intralipid infusion therapy is also occasionally used to help women conceive naturally, without any need for IVF.
A spokesman for CARE Fertility, which treated Mrs Conyers, said it offered the therapy to women if they think their only problem in getting pregnant is an over-active immune system.
‘Sometimes it is given if the couple is trying to conceive naturally,’ she said. ‘They may be having continual miscarriages but nothing seems to be wrong with them.’
The treatment is always administered by a qualified nurse under a doctor’s instructions.