What Is INVOcell, and Is It Right for Me?
Posted on May 25th, 2021
Since it was first introduced in the 1970s, the science and technology behind in vitro fertilization (IVF) have become increasingly innovative. One of the more recent advancements in IVF is the INVOcell device.
In a traditional IVF procedure, embryos are created and incubated outside the body in a laboratory setting. With INVOcell, the embryo is placed inside a device which is then placed within the vagina of the female patient. Using her natural temperature and pH balance, the woman’s body serves as the actual incubator so that the embryo can incubate and develop inside the woman’s body.
INVOcell Fast Facts
- Once the eggs and sperm are collected, they are placed in the INVOcell device. This device is then immediately placed within the female patient’s vagina (specifically the upper cavity), where it will remain for the incubation period.
- The intravaginal culture device is small, measuring about 1.5 inches in length and one inch in width. Most patients experience very little discomfort.
- After incubation is complete, the doctor removes the INVOcell device and inspects the developed embryos for their quality and quantity.
- If there is good quality and quantity, the doctor will then decide how many embryos will be transferred to the recipient’s uterus for a pregnancy attempt.
- If there are leftover embryos, these can be frozen for later use.
Is INVOcell Right for Me?
INVOcell provides certain IVF patients with an additional option of having a more “natural” IVF cycle. According to one 2016 study, INVOcell success rates were comparable to those of traditional IVF, with a live birth rate of 55% for INVOcell and 60% for IVF. Not only is the procedure less expensive than traditional IVF, but there can also be an emotional benefit to physically carrying your embryos as they develop.
Ultimately, the procedure simply offers patients a choice that, until relatively recently, was not available. However, it’s important to note that INVOcell might not be a good option for everyone. There may be medical or other reasons related to your personal fertility diagnosis that can indicate whether INVOcell or IVF would be a better option for you. The best way to find out if INVOcell is the right treatment option for you is to discuss your preferences and medical history with your fertility specialist directly.
Currently, ASPIRE offers INVOcell at our San Antonio fertility clinic. Patients interested in learning more about INVOcell can do so here. If you have questions about INVOcell or would like to discuss using the procedure, please connect with your ASPIRE Fertility doctor.