Intravenous (IV) micronutrient therapy is a customized vitamin treatment that infuses nutrients directly into the bloodstream and is the most effective way to deliver vitamins and minerals to the cells and tissues of your body. When compared to oral supplementation (where absorption is maybe 30-40%), IV nutrient absorption is 100% because you bypass the digestive tract and do not need to be concerned with any digestion or absorption issues. Benefits include improvements in energy, mood, sleep and concentration, strengthened immune system, healthy weight regulation, improved resilience to stress and anti-inflammatory effects. IV drip appointments are usually about 1 hour long and are typically very relaxing, like acupuncture treatments.
IV drip appointments are often recommended to female patients who are trying to conceive naturally and for those preparing for an IUI or IVF cycle. Aged oocytes have significantly reduced amounts of mitochondria (the cells that produce ATP, a source of energy) leading to suboptimal oocyte maturation, decreased fertilization rates and poor embryo development. The goal of IV therapy is to support the mitochondria, thereby improving fertility rates and increasing the chances of creating a healthy baby.
The nutrients that are required for healthy mitochondrial function that could be added to IVs include Magnesium, B vitamins such as B5, B6, B12 (methylcobalamin), active folate and B complex, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, L-carnitine and glutathione. Vitamin C is also beneficial when added to an IV as it can increase progesterone levels (the hormone that helps prepare the uterus for pregnancy). L-Arginine can be added to improve the uterine lining.
IVs drips are also recommended for male patients as these nutrients are required for healthy sperm – L-Carnitine (can improve sperm motility), folate (deficiencies contribute to lower testosterone levels and male factor infertility), B12, B complex, antioxidants and Vitamin C (can improve sperm count and motility).
Glutathione administration can be stand only IV injections (5 min appointments) or injections that can be added to the end of an IV drip appointment. Glutathione is our most powerful antioxidant and has the ability to prevent cellular damage caused by reactive oxygen (free radical damage). Oxidative stress results from an imbalance between reactive oxygen species and protective antioxidants and its oxidative stress that can negatively impact the reproductive cells of both males and females. Glutathione helps to preserve all other antioxidants in the body and is present in both males and female gametes. There is a link between glutathione deficiency and defective sperm motility in patients with male factor infertility. For females, glutathione protects eggs from oxidative stress damage during folliculogenesis, thereby improving egg quality. Studies have shown that oocytes with higher glutathione levels produce healthier and stronger embryos. It has also been shown that for women going through IVF, follicles with higher glutathione levels ended up with higher fertilization rates.