Texas lesbian couple carries same baby boy using Effortless Reciprocal IVF

Ashleigh Coulter- Instagram                          
      
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And, the new type of IVF is a game-changer for same-sex couples like them, who both want to play a role in pregnancy.

With effortless reciprocal IVF, instead of placing the combined sperm and eggs into an incubator in a lab, they go into something called an INVOcell device right after the egg is extracted.

"I knew that I wanted to have a child that was biologically mine but I didn't want to carry my child", Bliss said.

Fertility specialists Dr. Kathy Doody and her husband, Dr. Kevin Doody, of the CARE Fertility in Bedford, Texas, were the first to try reciprocal effortless in vitro fertilization using radical technology, which gave the Coutlers a shot at motherhood. "We anxious that he wouldn't connect to me because he has [Bliss'] DNA".

That INVOcell was then put back inside 36 year-old Bliss's body for five days, allowing the sperm and egg to develop into embryos.

The process involved hormone treatments and the eggs were then harvested. That's why it ended up costing them nearly 50% less than what it takes for a traditional IVF. In this case, Ashleigh was implanted with an egg contributed by Bliss and fertilised using donor sperm, with the other partner adopting the child.

Kathy explained that Bliss's body naturally "got the embryo off to an early start" because, "not surprisingly", a woman's body "is a very good incubator". An incubator provides a temperate environment and moves gasses and substances, like toxins, away from the embryos.

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'The eggs fertilized in her body and when they returned five days later, we removed the device and froze the embryos'.

"She got to carry him for five days and was a big part of the fertilization, and then I carried him for nine months", Ashleigh Coulter said.

After preparing Ashleigh for a transfer, she received her wife's embryos. They got pregnant on the first try. Doody had the idea to involve both mothers, which instantly appealed to the Coulters. She said, Image source " It was so exciting knowing that I was growing my own biological child inside of me".

While Ashleigh wanted to be a mother for as long as she could remember, Bliss wasn't as interested in the concept.

USA Today notes that the cost for the effortless IVF using INVOcell, around $8,000, is about half the cost of traditional IVF, which can run from $14,000 to $16,000.

Dr Kathy said she hopes her and Dr Kevin's efforts will 'open up new avenues, new choices for same sex parents'.

Even though the Coulters were the Doody's first same sex couple to go through Effortless IVF, they've performed the process for around 200 heterosexual couples.

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