Egg yolk fertility- madness or miracle?
Fertility treatment fad involves injections of egg yolk and oil.

There’s an unofficial fertility treatment taking the UK by storm, according to the Daily Mail. It’s clinically untested and unproven according to medical standards, but many women have already undergone the treatment and conceived. Dubbed the “Mayonnaise Miracle”, it involves injections of egg yolk and oil in order to neutralize toxins which may jeopardise a woman’s efforts in trying to conceive.

Fatty acid fertility?

Here’s a quick exploration of how the controversial treatment works:

  • It is suggested that some women are immune to pregnancy- when an embryo is developing in the womb, the immune system destroys it as if it is an infection.
  • Natural Killer cells (NK cells) therefore prevent a woman from sustaining a pregnancy.
  • “Immunomodulation Therapy” as it is known involves pumping the woman’s body full of intralipids- a mixture of egg yolk and soya oil.
  • Intralipids, (it is claimed) when flooding the woman’s body, suppress the body’s production of NK cells.
  • The fatty acids (intralipids) are “usually injected twice before conception and three times after conception” to assist in the pregnancy’s sustainability.
  • In addition, patients take steroids to assist in suppressing infection and blood thinners to prevent clots.

Several women have conceived following the treatment which has been gaining a foothold in private clinics since the 80s, despite the skepticism of many gynaecologists and fertility specialists. The treatment is said to be slightly more expensive than conventional fertility treatments.

No proof

Those in opposition of the treatment say that the absence of clinical trials and controlled randomised studies would indicate that the treatment is merely a fad and that the women who conceive are doing so for reasons other than the treatment. They insist that although the NK cells exist, there is no scientific proof that intralipids introduced by Immunomodulation Therapy work to neutralise them.

The cost involved in conventional treatments when trying to conceive is often the reason TTC couples are forced to give up after failed efforts to conceive or sustain a pregnancy. There are also emotional costs in addition to the financial pressure. These are factors which may influence the TTC couple in trying out alternative or unconventional methods in assisted fertility.

There is limited access to intralipid therapy in SA.

It is advisable to consult a medical professional when dealing with fertility issues or considering fertility treatments.

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