Married Couple Carries Same Baby in Landmark Fertility Treatment


Two Texas mothers have carried the same child in what might very well be a fertility first.

According to USA Today, the Dallas couple, Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter, met with fertility specialists Dr. Kathy and Kevin Doody at CARE Fertility in Bedford, Texas. The Doodys were attempting to “try reciprocal effortless In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) using radical technology.” That’s jargon to me, but essentially it works like any other IVF. As Dr. Kathy Doody explains, it began with the “stimulation of [Bliss’] ovaries and the egg harvest.”

In a typical IVF procedure, the sperm and egg are placed into laboratory incubators. IN this case, the doctors placed the sample into an INVOcell device and then implanted the eggs in Bliss’s body for five days—long enough for the earliest embryo development and bypass the lab. This is referred to as “reciprocal effortless IVF.” A “reciprocal IVF” is the traditional process—egg harvest and sperm into the incubator.

After those five days, and after a series of uterine examinations, and injections of estrogen and progesterone, the embryos were successfully transferred from Bliss to Ashleigh. She got pregnant immediately and carried their son to term.

Ashleigh Coulter said of the experience:

“She [Bliss] got to carry him for five days and was a big part of the fertilization, and then I carried him for nine months. So that made it really special for the both of us—that we were both involved. She got to be a part of it, and I got to be a part of it.”

Not only is this a landmark advancement in fertility medicine, it’s also notably cheaper than the traditional reciprocal IVF because the couple didn’t have to pay for lab incubation. USA Today reports that the treatment the Coulter couple underwent “is about $8,000 with medication, compared to traditional reciprocal IVF involving lab incubators that cost roughly $15,000 to $20,000.”

Read more here.

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