A SCOTTISH woman who suffered ten miscarriages has given birth after travelling to England for a special treatment using a solution made with eggs.
Lindsey Kennedy, from Forfar, had almost given up hope of having another child after losing pregnancy after pregnancy.
But along with husband David, the couple travelled to Nottingham for a treatment not yet available in Scotland which led to the arrival of baby Abigail just a few weeks ago.
Mrs Kennedy, 41, said she would now like to see the treatment made available on the NHS to women who suffer the distressing experience of repeated miscarriages.
The couple already had a daughter, Erin, who was conceived and born naturally when they decided to have treatment to try to have another child.
Mrs Kennedy suffered two miscarriages before Erin’s birth followed by a further eight as they tried to get pregnant again – all within the first few weeks of pregnancy.
Tests revealed she had an immune system condition in which doctors believed cells known as natural killer cells (NK cells) were stopping the pregnancy from continuing.
She had no problem becoming pregnant but despite taking a cocktail of drugs was unable to remain pregnant for very long.
Mrs Kennedy said: “The cells destroy any foreign bodies in my body and that’s what they would do.”
The family travelled to the Care Fertility clinic in Nottingham where doctors have been using solutions known as intralipids as a way of suppressing the immune system so the NK cells do not attack the foetus believing it to be a foreign object.
The treatment, given as an intravenous infusion, is made up of egg yolk and soya-oil solution which is usually used in intensive care to feed patients who cannot eat in the normal way.
In patients with repeated miscarriages the treatment helps suppress the immune system which stops the NK cells attacking the foetus.
Evidence shows that the treatment seems to work best only when used with IVF treatment, even in women who are able to get pregnant naturally.
So Mrs Kennedy was given an intralipid infusion during the fertility treatment and again once a pregnancy test proved positive, as well as a combination of other drugs including hormones and aspirin.
“These were supposed to help me keep hold of the baby and stop the cells killing the foetus,” Mrs Kennedy said.
“I had another two intralipid infusions but that stopped at 12 weeks and I did not need it again. I do think this is what led to be getting pregnant.”
Two embryos were implanted in Mrs Kennedy’s womb but after six weeks a scan showed only one remained.
Mrs Kennedy had a difficult pregnancy, feeling constantly sick for 20 weeks and suffering unexpected bleeding which left her worried she might miscarry again. She also had gestational diabetes.
“I was excited but I was always anxious until the baby was here. That’s was when I knew everything was going to be OK,” she said.
Mrs Kennedy said Erin and husband David were delighted with the new addition to the family after Abigail arrived on 18 April.
She said she wished more women could benefit from the treatment and that it was available on the NHS.
“Even if this would help one or two women that would be good. People should not give up hope,” she said.
The family spent around £5,000 having the treatment, which included £200 for each intralipid infusion.