Every Detail Behind the Revolutionary Device That Allowed the Same-Sex Couple to Carry the Same Baby

Everything you want to know about this stunning fertility first.
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Nov 2018
same sex pregnant couple holding each other and sitting outside
Photo: Getty Images

This week, Texas couple Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter made headlines when the pair achieved a landmark fertility first: They both carried their baby at different phases during the pregnancy, ABC News reports.

The process is known as reciprocal effortless IVF, and lets both mothers physically carry their child. It was all made possible thanks to the INVOcell device. The revolutionary system enables egg fertilization and early embryo development to take place in the woman’s body, in vivo.

How It Works

One woman’s eggs are extracted and fertilized in a lab to form an embryo before it is placed in the other woman who will carry the baby to term.

  • Instead of using an incubator, the INVOcell capsule is placed in a woman’s body to fertilize the eggs and embryos inside her.
  • The eggs harvested from Bliss, and then were introduced to sperm from a donor in the INVOcell. It was then placed in Bliss to allow fertilization and formation of the embryos for five days.
  • The embryos were then removed and frozen until Ashleigh was ready to receive them. After Ashleigh was done with her hormone treatments, Bliss’ embryo was placed in her.
  • Ten days later, on their first try, the couple was pregnant with their first child.

The ecstatic parents welcomed, Stetson, their healthy baby boy, over the summer.

Key Takeaways of INVOcell

The intravaginal culture system from INVO Bioscience was granted FDA clearance.

  • Provides a natural and stable incubation environment in the woman’s own body
  • Allows involvement by both partners
  • Is about half the price of traditional fertility treatments

“For many couples struggling with infertility, access to treatment is often not possible. Financial challenges, limited availability of specialized medical care, religious, social or cultural roadblocks can prevent hopeful parents from realizing their dream to have a baby. Our mission is to help realize these dreams,” says Lori Kahler, vice president of global operations for INVO Bioscience.

5 Signs You’re Fertile Now

Cassie Kreitner
Senior Editor

Woman Is the First to Have a Baby Using Ovary Frozen in Childhood

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor

What Is Electro-Acupuncture?

Eric Widra, MD, chair of practice committee for the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and a reproductive endocrinologist with Shady Grove Fertility in Washington, DC
Fertility Specialist