Egg Yolk Helps Couple Conceive after Failed IVF Attempts

A British couple who suffered multiple miscarriages and spent over $50,000 on IVF fertilization treatments in hopes of getting pregnant found success at last through an unusual treatment that involved chicken egg yolks.

Mark and Suzanne Harper had the deck stacked against them after Mark contracted testicular cancer that left him with a sperm count of zero. Three rounds of IVF had also failed, and complicated tests revealed that Suzanne's immune system was producing killer cells that continued to attack the implanted embryos. Doctors at the CARE Fertility Nottingham where the Harpers were being treated made an unusual suggestion in hopes of helping the couple.

In combination with another IVF attempt, Suzanne was given "intralipid," a mixture of soy oil and the yolk from a hen's egg, a combination of fatty acids that would hopefully be able to fight off the killer cells and allow the IVF to work.

Suzanne was one of the first women in her country to undergo this treatment, and in December of 2009 she gave birth to a daughter, Libby. When the young couple wanted to conceive again, the same formula was used and their fourth IVF produced  a second daughter, Connie, born in 2013.