MEDFORD, Mass. — A lesbian couple made history when they became the first same-sex couple to both carry the baby in separate phases of the pregnancy — from the fertilization of the egg and development of the embryo to the birth of the child.
The option was made available to married couple Bliss and Ashleigh Coulter, of Mountain Springs, Texas, through the science of INVOcell, Intravaginal Culture System developed by INVO Bioscience, Inc.
News outlets worldwide reported on the phenomenon which utilized reciprocal effortless in vitro fertilization. It began with the stimulation and harvesting of eggs from Bliss Coulter. Instead of incubating in a lab, the sperm and eggs were placed in the INVOcell device and inserted into her for five days to provide an environment for embryo development. Afterward, the device was removed and the embryos frozen. Like passing a baton in relay race, USA Today reported, the embryos were transferred into Ashleigh Coulter’s body for the remainder of the pregnancy after she was given estrogen and progesterone. At the end of the long process, a son, Stetson, was born to the couple.
“She got to carry him for five days and was a big part of the fertilization, and then I carried him for nine months,” Ashleigh Coulter told USA Today. “So that made it really special for the both of us — that we were both involved. She got to be a part of it, and I got to be a part of it,” she added. Two additional embryos are still frozen in the lab to be used at a later date unless they choose to switch up the process and utilize Ashleigh Coulter’s eggs.
The cost of using this option is far less expensive than traditional in vitro fertilization at about half the cost.