At the 2014 American Society for Reproductive Medicine meeting Drs. Kevin and Kathleen Doody presented data from an exciting new way to do IVF for the treatment of infertility. Traditionally an IVF cycle requires multiple office visits with blood work and ultrasounds. Most commonly, high dosages of fertility injections are utilized in IVF cycles. The eggs obtained at the egg harvest and mixed with the husband's sperm and placed in incubators for up to five days prior to embryo transfer. The doctors designed a study to evaluate the success of a lower dose stimulation of the ovaries combined with incubation of the sperm and eggs in an intravaginal device (INVO cell) as compared to the traditional incubator. The lower dose of stimulation allowed the patient to have just three visits prior to the egg harvest whereas the norm is six to eight visits. Blood tests were not needed during the treatment. Thirty seven patients were randomized to either undergo IVF with the traditional incubator system versus the intravaginal culture with INVO cell. The ongoing live birth in both groups was 58% with a total of 18 infants born to date. Several patients noted that the fact that the eggs were being fertilized "in the body" in the women carrying the vaginal device made it feel more natural. Drs. Doody propose this type of IVF will be more effortless and affordable for a majority of infertility patients. This in turn will increase patient access to care and help more couples create families. Interest in this exciting concept is worldwide.
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