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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lymphocyte Immune Therapy (LIT)

After my 3rd loss I did some research and read the book Coming to Term. In the book it talked about doing Lymphocyte Immune Therapy. (LIT) This is where they take my husband's white blood cells and put them into me so that my body doesn't see my husband's DNA as foreign and try to fight off the pregnancy. Dr. Beer used this procedure in the US for some time but thanks to President Bush it is no longer not legal anymore and we would have to go to Mexico or Canada. The other option is IVIG which is very expensive. (With Obama in office I believe this procedure will now be legal in the US very soon although I haven't really done the research on that so please don't hold me to it)

So here is the scientific explanation of LIT according to Dr. Beer's website:
Explanation of LIT:

The HLA antigens on the placenta cells made by the father are called HLA-G. When the couple shares DQ alpha antigens in common, the G molecule put on the placental cells by the father is too similar to the G molecule that the woman's father put on her placenta to sustain her in her mother's uterus.
As a result, she does not make the blocking antibody, the baby dies, and her immune system recognizes the placenta as "altered self" (i.e., a cancer cell) and category 1 problems move on to worsen to categories 2, 3, 4 and 5 (see diagram below).
Inadequate blocking antibody formation.
Ineffective camouflage of placenta.
Placental cells fail to grow and divide.
Death of placental cells.
Activation of category 2, 3, 4 and 5 immune problems.

HLA-G: Message sent from father to stimulate blocking antibody.
Blocking Antibody: Protects and stimulates the growth of placental cells.
Placental Cell Death: Consequences of low blocking antibody.

Info taken from Repro-Med (Dr. Alan Beer's website)
So we talked to some people locally that had done LIT down in Mexico and decided to give it a try. Jan 26th 2008 we took our first trip down to the border to meet with the Dr. There we met 2 other couples who were in somewhat the same situation as us. One couple had been trying to get pregnant for a while and had done IVF cycles but miscarried a couple of times. The other couple had a daughter but had 2 miscarriages in a row and decided to try LIT as well. We all walked over the border together and our husbands when in one at a time and had their blood drawn. Then we went out to breakfast while the Dr. and the nurses separated our husband's white blood cells from the red ones. When we returned they did 4 shallow injections into our fore arms just under the skin. We were told to go home and not take any allergy meds for about 3 days and to come back for our second treatment in 3-4 weeks.

I know I know. It sounds crazy. Going to Mexico to have this done. But the Dr. that did this procedure worked and studied with Dr. Beer in the US and has helped tons of couples finally have their baby. Many couples in the Phoenix area have gone down and done this procedure with this very same Dr. and had great success. The office was just like any other office in the US. Very nice and clean. They used brand new needles that were packaged and alcohol swaps. They even required that you bring your paperwork stating that you and your husband have had blood tests done and are free from disease.

My arms were red for a couple of days but after that I felt fine. We went back again 4 weeks later and repeated the treatment again. I kept in touch with the ladies I met down there for a while but have lost touch over the months. I often wonder if LIT actually worked and they had their babies or are pregnant now.

It was great talking to them when we were down there and sharing our stories. I had been on babycenter discussion boards but to talk to someone in person that felt my same feelings of desperation and desire to have a child made such a big difference.

So after the LIT was done we were given the green light to try again in March of 2008.


  1. So I just came across this post from 2009, and am trying to learn as much as I can on this therapy. Did you have any success with it? Was it expensive? Did you feel safe crossing the border, isn't it dangerous due to the drug cartels and kidnapping? I'm petrified my new doctor, a reproductive immunologist, will suggest this therapy. Any info you feel like sharing is greatly appreciated.

  2. Hi Mehgan-

    I don't think LIT was the answer to our problem. I am currently almost 19 weeks pregnant and we did LIT back in 2008. It wasn't terribly expensive. I can't remember how much but I think it was about $1500 when all was said and done and compared to other fertilty treatments that is pretty cheap. I felt perfectly safe crossing the border. The docter met us at the McDonald's down there and walked us to his office. I had no fear of drug cartels or kidnapping. It was as if we were just going down to Mexico to go shopping for the day. It was pretty low key. The exhausting part was getting up so early to drive down there.

  3. I should also mention that this is our first successful pregnancy. We adopted in 2009.

  4. hi cagrlasu

    congrats for your new one
    didnt you get benefitted from the LIT and what other ways you tried to become pregnant?

  5. hi cagrlasu

    congrats dear for your small one
    did LIT treatment helped you in becoming pregnant did you tried anyother treatment
    i had 2 miscarriages please help

  6. I'm so sorry. I just saw your comment. I did do LIT but I went on to have more losses. What worked for us was doing a Viral Protocol and then, once pregnant, doing IV lipid treatment 4 times int he first trimester. Please feel free to ask me other questions.

    1. What is the viral protocol? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Lmschanges at gmail dot com

  7. What is the viral protocol? Lmschanges at gmail dot com. We could really use any helpful tips.

    1. The viral protocol is something my RE had both my husband and I do to reset my body and rod both of ours from possible infection. I don't remember all of the specifics and I believe it differs slightly from couple to couple. We went to IVF Phoebux bc they didn't rush us into IVF. They believed we could carry to term on our own with their help by getting to the bottom as to why I kept miscarrying.

  8. so I just wrote this huge long reply and it didn't take :( I will try emailing you when I get home from work tonight Lmschanges.

  9. Helo cagrlasu! I would like to know what viral protocol is about as well... Could you please email me at Thank you!!

    1. Hi Glamstuff- I tried emailing you a while back but it didn't go through. Where are you from?

  10. Hi

    We are from India. My wife had three miscarriages. After that our doctor recommended an immunologist. This immunologist also suggested LIT. After taking LIT for about 6 months, my wife conceived again. This time we were able to detect heartbeat at about 8 weeks. But around 12th week another routine USG was done which showed no cardiac activity. Doctor said the foetus is non viable now and my wife has to undergo DNC. We are devastated by this. Don't know what should be our next steps. Should we plan another pregnancy or go for adoption.

  11. Hi Amit- I'm so sorry to hear of your 3 miscarriages. Are you here in the US or still in India? LIT didn't work for us. What ultimately worked for us was going to IVF Phoenix in Scottsdale, AZ. Dr Couvaras tried other things to get us to carry to term. We did a viral protocol plus an IV Lipid treatment and we finally had a viable pregnancy. We did adopt before having a successful pregnancy and our family feels complete.

    Both Adoption and finally achieving a successful pregnancy were amazing blessings in our lives.

    Best of luck to you. Thoughts and prayers to you and your wife.