February 10, 2014
Chicken’s Egg Yolk Helps Woman Get Pregnant
The yolk from a chicken’s egg has helped a British woman, who struggled for years to become pregnant, to have not one but two children, the New York Post reports. Libby Harper is four years old and her one-month-old sister Connie was happily brought into the world recently using the same incredible method, although not, of course, the same egg yolk – that would have been a hell of a yolk.
The girls’ father Mark was tragically left infertile after suffering from testicular cancer, a result of which was discovering that he had a zero sperm count. A different form of testicular cancer followed a year later. During their long battle to conceive, Mark’s wife Suzanne suffered two miscarriages and the couple spent more than $50,000 on IVF, an endeavor that almost bankrupted them. Artificial insemination from a US donor failed in 2006.
The couple’s problems were continuing because “Suzanne’s immune system was producing killer cells that attacked embryos.” The sixth attempt at IVF resulted in pregnancy, but then devastatingly Suzanne suffered a miscarriage.
Finally, the CARE facility in Nottingham that was treating Suzanne suggested that she try a rare and pioneering technique that involves using the yolk from a hen’s egg mixed with soy oil. The fatty acids prevent the “killer cells” from attacking the embryos. “We were willing to try anything to try and have a baby,” Suzanne said.
The far-fetched idea worked. On their eighth attempt at IVF in 2009, Suzanne became pregnant with Libby. Mark and Suzanne wanted a brother and sister for Libby, but suffered three failed attempts at IVF using the yolk emulsion method and another miscarriage. Finally, though, Libby’s sister Connie was born in 2013.
“And it’s all thanks to egg yolk,” said Suzanne.
Libby came into the world in December, the same month as her sister had three years earlier. Some may say these incredible births at Christmas time were as impressive for the genius of science as the more famous virgin birth.
Throughout human history, the desire of couples to have children has been hampered by seemingly endless hazards and adversities. 250 years ago 75 percent of all children born in London died before the age of five, and they were the ones that managed to make it into the world, even for a horribly short time. Many couples, as a result of poor nutrition, healthcare and scientific knowledge, would never have been able to carry out a full pregnancy or even conceive.
Improvements in science, such as the inspired egg yolk method, have allowed families to have a better chance. This method shows that science isn’t always a cold and methodical trudge towards an ordered world, but an art form as well, something which requires thinking outside the box and entertaining quirky possibilities. If there wasn’t so much work and dedication going into making its success a reality, one might almost call it a miracle.
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