Hybrid IVF Procedure Allows Two Women to Carry the Same Baby

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 - 1:03PM
Medical Tech
Weird Science
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 - 1:03PM
Hybrid IVF Procedure Allows Two Women to Carry the Same Baby
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We probably don't need to fully explain how in vitro fertilization typically works, but generally speaking it involves injecting sperm into an embryo and then implanting that fertilized egg so that it can grow. According to reports, fertility specialists in Texas were the first in history to try a revolutionary, but controversial new procedure that allowed two women in a same sex couple to both carry the same baby in their wombs. The procedure combined two existing procedures (effortless IVF and reciprocal IVF) and resulting in the birth of a healthy baby boy.

Starting with the effortless IVF procedure, Dr. Kathy Doody and Dr. Kevin Doody used a device called an INVOcell to fertilize one of the mothers' eggs with sperm from a male donor. The INVOcell was incubated in mother number one for five days, then in the reciprocal IVF procedure, the incubated embryos were frozen and one was placed inside mother number two. "It turns out, not surprisingly, that the woman's own body is a very good incubator," said Dr. Kathy Doody, who described the process like "passing the baton, like it's a relay race." The couple got pregnant on the first try with the procedure, and nine months later little Stetson was born. Only mother number one's genes were passed on to their son, so they would have to take alternate roles in the future if mother two wanted to contribute her DNA to their second child.

According to WFAA ABC News, reciprocal effortless IVF costs around $8000, which is half of what it would have cost for them to have the embryos incubated in a lab. As to be expected, there has been some backlash online from those who think the mothers and the doctors are overstepping boundaries, but Dr. Kathy Doody disagrees. "I think that family, relationship, children is exactly everything that was meant to be in our world," she said.

For more on how the procedures work, check out the CBS News interview with the mothers and doctors below.

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