In Medical First, Couple Both Carry Their Baby

Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter explain how Effortless Reciprocal IVF made it possible
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2018 10:35 AM CDT
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A stock photo of a pregnant woman.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A same-sex Texas couple explained to ABC News what the traditional route for birthing a baby in their situation is: Use donor sperm, have one woman carry the baby, and have the other woman adopt the child. Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter of Mountain Springs mixed up that process in a history-making way: Both moms carried the baby. Here's how: Effortless Reciprocal IVF. In layman's terms, the process allowed Bliss to carry the embryo for five days as it formed, and that embryo was then transplanted into Ashleigh, who carried the child, a son named Stetson, to term. He was born in June.

ABC News gets more technical, explaining that in Effortless IVF, the egg and sperm are joined in something called an INVOcell capsule. That capsule is then inserted into a woman's vagina. As the Coulters' fertility doctor, Dr. Kathy Doody of the CARE Fertility in Bedford, explains, "the woman has kidneys, a liver, and lungs, which allow the body [to act] as a natural incubator." Typically, after the embryo is removed, it's ultimately implanted into the same woman. KVUE notes that by bypassing the use of a lab incubator, the couple cut the cost way down: Their process runs about $8,000, versus $15,000 to $20,000 for Reciprocal IVF with that incubator. Another same-sex couple in Texas underwent the same procedure and had a girl in September. (Here's how to get pregnant at 50 without IVF.)

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