Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Intralipid Infusions

Every time I flip through photo album on my phone I see a picture of my very first intralipid infusion.  I originally took it so I could show you guys what it was all about and write a post about it… but I never did.  So here it is, 6 ½ months late!

Over the course of the last 6 months I’ve had 11 infusions.  They became pretty normal for me, every two weeks on Wednesday afternoon at 4 pm I’d head over to the hospital, biweekly until 24 weeks.  I got to know my nurses all really well because I saw them so often.  I got to a point where I had a “favorite” vein for my IV to go in and all the nurses knew me by name and asked if I was ready for my dose of “frosting” (if you look in the picture you’ll see why we call it frosting, it’s a thick white solution.)

The infusions themselves are pretty easy.  They put in an IV and hook up a bag of 20% intralipid solution in 80% saline.  The medicine gets run through a pumping machine which sends it out at the right rate. 

Once I got past the initial jitters of getting an IV things got pretty routine.  I’d come in, say hi to everyone, hang my left arm over the side of the chair in an attempt to get my “favorite” vein looking good, they’d hook me up, and there I sat for the next two hours.  As long as we could get the IV in my hand or forearm then the next two hours flew by because I had the use of both of my arms.  If we had to put the IV in my elbow the next two hours were always very long and boring because I had to stay pretty still so the pump didn’t see too much back pressure and stall out.

I had to have the infusions for two reasons; I have elevated natural killer cells caused by either autoimmune implantation disfunction, alloimmune implantation disfunction or both.  Since I’ve never had a miscarriage most likely my natural killer cells are activated from an autoimmune reaction, but we also know that Blue and I have a partial match in our immune systems that makes it hard for an embryo to implant.  If you want a slightly better description, read this post I wrote about it.

For any of you who’ve been diagnosed with activated natural killer cells, or suspect that might be the problem, don’t stress about these, they’re easy and relatively cheap.  I would recommend that anyone who has endo and has had IVF failures look into getting tested, it’s usually covered by insurance and if it isn’t they give you a huge discount.  Dr. Sher believes 30% of women with endometriosis have this, and if they have a family history of thyroid disease or any other autoimmune disease they are much more likely to have it.  If you want to read up more on the science behind them check out Dr. Sher's website.


  1. Thanks for this information... I doubt I'll go for number 2, based on how & why we came to the decision we did, but...

    After getting my IUD, I heard about NKCs, and I wondered if I had that issue with my severe psoriasis, because it was only after my NBUVB light treatments held my psoriasis that I got pregnant - which coincided with my 90 day marker on Metformin.

  2. I have endo and under active thyroid. I had intralipids on last cycle which failed, but will be having them again this cycle. X

  3. I love this post! I am hoping to find a doctor who will treat me somewhere locally for my elevated NK Cells and Alloimmune Implantation Dysfunction! Thanks for sharing :-)

  4. Thanks for writing about this. I will add this to my list of questions to ask when I finally get to the top of the list for IVF.

  5. You are seriously my twin. I was just deleting photos from my camera phone yesterday and I cam across a bunch of photos that I took at my last intralipid infusion...that I had planned on using to write a post about intrlipid therapy...that I never wrote! Now I don't need to because you nailed it. I agree that women with endo should have the therapy if they can afford it.