Intravenous immunoglobulin for in-vitro fertilization failure.

C B Coulam
L W Krysa
M Bustillo


The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of intravenous (i.v.) immunoglobulin (Ig) for treatment of individuals experiencing failure after in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer. A total of 29 women with unexplained infertility who failed to become pregnant after IVF/embryo transfer were divided into two groups based on performance in previous IVF cycles: 16 women had fertilization of > or = 50% of oocytes retrieved and/or produced > or = 3 embryos each cycle and 13 had fertilization of < 50% of oocytes retrieved and/or produced < 3 embryos each cycle. Each woman had received at least 12 transferred embryos (95th percentile for successful IVF patients) or had experienced two or more biochemical pregnancies without ultrasonic confirmation of implantation during previous IVF/embryo transfer attempts. All women received i.v. Ig 500 mg/kg prior to the next embryo transfer. Only one of the 13 (8%) women with suboptimal fertilization and embryo yield became pregnant in the treatment cycle. Of 16 women who had previously had fertilization of at least 50% of oocytes retrieved and produced at least three embryos, nine (56%) became pregnant in the treatment cycle. The difference in pregnancy rates between the two groups is significant (P = 0.02). Intravenous Ig is useful in the treatment of unexplained IVF failure in women who have oocyte fertilization rates > or = 50% and generate at least three embryos per cycle.