WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A same-sex couple in Texas bore their first baby in their wombs in a groundbreaking procedure.
- Contrary to traditional reciprocal IVF where lab incubators are used, one of the mothers’ body acted instead as a natural incubator for fertilization through the reciprocal effortless IVF.
- INVOcell is a special device placed in the body where embryo development takes place.
In what doctors believe to be a medical first, a couple from Texas became the first women to carry their “miracle baby” in both their wombs.
Wanting a shot at motherhood, both moms Ashleigh, 28, and Bliss Coulter, 36, knew that having a baby would require a sperm donor.
“Obviously, us being two women, we were like, ‘How can we make this happen?”
Thanks to a groundbreaking process called Reciprocal effortless InVitro Fertilization, the couple’s wishes became a reality. They underwent two combined IVF procedures at the CARE Facility Clinic in Bedford, Texas under fertility specialists Dr. Kathy Doody and her husband Dr. Kevin Doody.
While traditional reciprocal IVF works by placing the sperm and Bliss’ eggs into incubators in a lab, the first “effortless IVF” used INVOcell, a special capsule device to introduce Bliss’ eggs and a donor sperm into Bliss’ body. For five days, Bliss’ body acted as a natural incubator for the cells where early embryo development began. Five days later, the device was removed and the doctors froze the embryos.
“It turns out, not surprisingly, that the woman’s own body is a very good incubator,” Kathy Doody told WFAA, clarifying how INVOcell works. “We have livers, kidneys and lungs, so we’re able to provide those same services to the embryo more naturally,” added Doody.
The second procedure was Ashleigh’s turn.
It’s a bit like “passing the baton, like a relay race,” Kathy said. After evaluating Ashleigh’s uterus, being administered with estrogen and progesterone waited for the right time, the doctors transferred Bliss’ embryos to her body. Ashleigh carried the baby until he was born in June. The couple named their bundle of joy Stetson.
Ashleigh said that it was really special for her and her wife. “Bliss got to carry him for five days, and was a big part of fertilization, and then I carried him for nine months. We were both involved, she and I got to be part of it.”
Reciprocal effortless IVF costs about $8,000 including medications, compared to $15,000 to $20,000 traditional reciprocal IVF that employs lab incubators. Effortless IVF using INVOcell is typically $14,000 to $16,000 with medications, which is about half the cost of traditional IVF.
Some critics believed that the medical advance contradicts religious beliefs.
However, Kathy totally disagreed saying, “I think that family, relationship, children is exactly everything that was meant to be in our world.”
Stetson is now a happy 5-month-old baby. Both busy at motherhood, Bliss said that ‘no one really knew it was possible, but it worked magnificently.”
Source: USA Today