Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg)

Definition - What does Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg) mean?

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is a treatment prescribed to women who have experienced recurrent implantation failure (RIF) or recurrent pregnancy loss (RPG). IVIg acts to suppress a woman’s natural immune system, which may have been preventing the pregnancy from surviving. IVIg has been shown to increase the rates of successful pregnancies in woman who have experienced loses through RIF or RPG.

FertilitySmarts explains Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg)

Immunoglobulin is a substance that naturally occurs within the body and is often referred to as antibodies. Antibodies are created by the immune system, and are responsible for monitoring the body for an invasion of foreign matter that does not naturally occur, such as bacteria, cancer cells, fungus, or viruses.

In some cases of RIF and RPG, women’s blood contains high levels of the natural killer (NK) cell, a type of antibody that when functioning normally, protects the body from harmful invading matter. The high presence of these NK cells indicates that the body recognizes the fetus as a foreign matter, and is creating more NK cells in order to destroy the threat. While the body functions under the belief attacking the embryo is necessary to maintain health, it is actually preventing the fetus from developing.

IVIg delivers an extra dose of antibodies, collected from blood plasma donations, to the body’s blood stream through the use of an IV, inserted in the arm. This large dose of antibodies works to suppress a woman's natural immune system, which in turn provides the fetus with the time it needs to develop, allowing the body to naturally adjust to the pregnancy's presence.

The level of evidence is lacking for IVIg use in prevent spontaneous abortions. Additional studies are needed to confirm or deny support for this use.

Share this: