October 30, 2018

REPRODUCTION: Same-sex couple carries same ‘miracle’ baby in what may be fertility world first.

It starts like traditional IVF.

“Bliss went through the stimulation of her ovaries and the egg harvest,” Kathy said.

Instead of placing the sperm and Bliss’ eggs into incubators in a lab, which is called reciprocal IVF and has been carried out for same-sex couples for years, they go into the chamber of the INVOcell device immediately after egg retrieval. The device is placed into Bliss’ body for five days where early embryo development begins.

“She got the embryo off to an early start,” Kathy said. “The eggs fertilized in her body and when they returned five days later, we removed the device and froze the embryos.”

Because embryos don’t have livers, kidneys or lungs, traditionally, electromechanical devices like incubators are used in labs to remove toxins and try to maintain a supportive environment for the embryo.

“It turns out, not surprisingly, that the woman’s own body is a very good incubator,” Kathy said, clarifying how INVOcell works. “We have livers, kidneys and lungs so we’re able to provide those same services to the embryo more naturally.”

Next, it was Ashleigh’s turn.

“Almost like passing the baton, like it’s a relay race,” Kathy said.

Doctors evaluated Ashleigh’s uterus, gave her estrogen and then progesterone, waited for the right time and transferred her wife’s embryos to her body. They got pregnant on the first try.

Really, most anything to combat the radical decline in fertility.

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