Bliss and Ashleigh made history this year by being the first couple to take turns carrying their child through pregnancy. Here’s how they did it.

Bliss and Ashleigh gave birth to their baby boy, Stetson in June.

The couple used a new procedure called reciprocal and effortless in vitro fertilisation, or IVF. In this procedure an embryo is transferred very early in pregnancy from one woman to another. Reciprocal effortless IVF was developed by Kathy and Kevin Doody, MD, specifically to help same-sex couples, but the procedure can be helpful for heterosexual couples as well. Effortless IVF combines the egg and sperm within an INVOcell capsule that is placed in the mother, rather than outside of the body as with traditional IVF treatment.

effortless IVF
How the INVOcell works. Image courtesy of INVO Bioscience.

Effortless IVF has a success rate of over 90% and is often much less costly than traditional treatment. According to an interview with Dr. Doody by Health, “we noticed that embryos seemed to be advancing and dividing more quickly in the vaginal incubator than in the laboratory incubator. We were seeing fully hatched embryos on day five, compared to embryos that had expanded but hadn’t yet started to hatch at all.” We’re not at all surprised that a woman’s body is an excellent incubator.

reciprocal and effortless IVF
Bliss (left) and Ashleigh (right). Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Bliss used the INVOcell with her eggs and donor sperm. When the eggs were fertilised after 5 days, they were frozen whilst Ashleigh went through hormonal treatments. The embryo was then transferred to Ashleigh who carried their baby boy to term.

reciprocal and effortless IVF
Their baby boy, Stetson was born in June. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Congratulations, Ashleigh and Bliss! ❤️


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