Suzanne Harper successfully conceived children with the help of egg yolk. Harper and her husband Mark spent an excess of $50,000 on in vitro fertilization (IVF) attempts before finally achieving pregnancy. This British couple went through heartache after heartache, including 12 IVF cycles and two miscarriages, trying to have a child.
The Harpers immediately tried to start a family 12 years ago, right after they got married. After a year of trying Suzanne failed to get pregnant. The couple discovered then due to a previous battle with testicular cancer Mark had a zero sperm count. Mark and Suzanne were absolutely devastated another year later when Mark was hit again, but with a different form of testicular cancer.
After successful chemotherapy treatments Mark was informed the cancer was in remission so the couple decided they still wanted try to have a child. In 2006 the British couple tried artificial insemination from an American donor. This too failed.
The couple then employed a Nottingham facility called CARE for IVF treatments. IVF is the process used by fertility facilities where an egg is fertilized by sperm outside of the body. When other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed IVF has been a major treatment for infertility. IVF is a process involving monitoring and stimulating the woman’s ovulation process, removing at least one egg from the woman’s ovaries and in a laboratory allowing sperm to fertilize the egg(s) in a fluid medium. The fertilized egg is then cultivated for two to six days and then transferred to the mother’s uterus in hopes of establishing a successful pregnancy.
The initial three attempts failed but on the sixth IVF try Suzanne finally got pregnant. After six weeks Suzanne miscarried. After the first three treatments tests revealed that Suzanne’s immune system was producing high levels of natural “killer cells” that were attacking her embryos.
The CARE facility suggested the couple try a rare technique called intralipid. Intralipid infusion is a special drip mixture of a hen’s egg yolk and soy oil. The theory is the combination of fatty acids would restrain the killer cells which had been attacking her embryos and allow her to have a healthy pregnancy.
Suzanne said they were both taken back by the main ingredient of egg yolk but were willing to try anything that would increase their chances of having a child. Mark and Suzanne agreed to the procedure and it worked. In April 2009 on Suzanne’s eighth IVF attempt she became one of the first women in Britain to undergo the pioneering treatment. In December 2009, the couple’s first child, Libby, was born.
The Harpers were elated beyond words when Libby was born. Suzanne said they had their daughter and decided they wanted to try again to conceive. Three additional IVF attempts were made with the egg yolk infusion. The first two tries failed and the third attempt resulted in another failed pregnancy.
The Harpers were heartbroken but were desperate to give Libby a sister or brother. In March 2013 Mark and Suzanne decided one last time to put the theory to the test and in December 2013 they were rewarded with their second daughter Connie.
The Harpers say they owe all the thanks to egg yolk. It has successfully given them both of their daughters and they couldn’t be more grateful; they are so happy to finally be parents.
After years of trying unsuccessfully to conceive a child a British couple found themselves financially and emotionally depleted. After 12 failed IVF cycles Mark and Suzanne were introduced to a rare technique called intralipid, a mixture involving egg yolk. Now this couple is proud to say they are the parents of two daughters, four-year-old Libby and month old Connie.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)