INVOcell Intravaginal Culture (IVC) System
Dallas IVF is proud to be one of the first clinics to provide our patients with INVOcell, an innovative option that lowers the cost of treatment compared to traditional IVF.
What is INVOcell and how does it compare to IVF?
INVOcell is an intravaginal culture (IVC) system, meaning a device that holds eggs and sperm in the woman’s body for fertilization and embryo incubation. Instead of in vitro fertilization, meaning fertilization in a petri dish (in vitro) in a laboratory, with INVOcell the fertilization and incubation occur outside a lab and inside the woman’s body. This is an alternative option for many couples needing IVF to conceive.
INVOcell is the first and only FDA-cleared device of its kind used in fertility treatment.
What is the INVOcell process?
- The woman is given much milder doses of ovulation stimulating drugs than with IVF because INVOcell requires fewer eggs.
- The woman has fewer visits and fewer ultrasounds than traditional IVF.
- Her eggs are retrieved in the same manner as with IVF.
- Her partner’s sperm (or donor sperm) is put into the INVOcell device with the retrieved eggs, and the device is placed in the upper cavity of the woman’s vagina.
- For five days the INVOcell chamber stays in the woman’s body naturally nourishing the sperm and eggs and incubating the resulting embryos.
- An embryologist examines the embryos to select the best one(s) to transfer to the woman’s uterus for pregnancy, just as with the IVF process.
What are the benefits of INVOcell?
Developing embryos in a more natural environment
The principle behind this unique method of fertility treatment is that the woman’s body may be a more stable environment than an IVF lab incubator. The lab incubator and culture that holds the sperm, egg and resulting embryo must be closely monitored and regulated for the right pH levels, temperature and gas concentrations for fertilization to occur and the resulting embryo to develop properly.
In contrast, a woman’s upper vaginal cavity already provides this controlled environment, similar to the fallopian tubes where fertilization naturally occurs.
This method also allows a woman to be part of the fertilization process earlier in the process, before embryo transfer. This can help the couple to feel more involved emotionally as well as physically.
Reduced treatment costs
INVOcell skips the expensive incubator and lab monitoring and adjustments, reducing the cost of treatment compared with traditional IVF.
- Mild stimulation reduces the risk of severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, the need for embryo cryopreservation storage and a multiple pregnancy.
- Can replace intrauterine insemination (IUI) as a low-cost equivalent treatment with increased chances of success, as IUI often requires multiple procedures compared to one INVOcell procedure.