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IVIG therapy is used by fertility patients who have recurrent implantation failures or recurrent pregnancy losses. IVIG therapy is thought to repress a woman’s immune system, which may be attacking the embryo or fetus, mistaking it for a foreign body. IVIG is made up of human antibodies, derived from washed and processed donor blood. It is not clear exactly how IVIG works, but studies suggest that it may reduce the amount of natural killer (NK) cells in the body, and/or may absorb or block a woman’s antibodies, which are causing the body to attack the pregnancy.
Women who have tested positive for natural killer cells and have experienced multiple miscarriages or implantation failures, may opt for the use of IVIG therapy to increase their chance of conceiving and carrying a pregnancy to term.
During a treatment session, IVIG is introduced to the body very slowly through an intravenous drip in the arm, possibly taking several hours. It is recommended that IVIG be administered prior to embryo transfer, and then two additional times following a positive pregnancy test.
Currently, ASRM suggests that IVIG therapy be considered experimental treatment because studies have reported inconclusive results on the positive effects of IVIG therapy for recurrent pregnancy loss patients.
The cost of IVIG therapy is variable due to the varying dosage and cost of medication. One can expect to pay multiple thousands of dollars.