Definition - What does INVOcell mean?

INVOcell is a medical device that combines sperm and eggs that are then incubated within a woman's vagina with the goal of fertilization and early embryonic development taking place in an environment similar to as it would naturally occur.

INVOcell can also be refered to as intravaginal culture (IVC).

FertilitySmarts explains INVOcell

During the procedure, the patient undergoes either a natural or mildly stimulated cycle which eventually leads to the retrieval of eggs. After sperm is collected, they are both placed inside of the INVOcell device, which is then put into the vaginal cavity. The device is said to mimic the environment of the upper vagina thereby facilitating fertilization.

If the egg is fertilized and embryonic development is successful, the device is removed, and the best embryos are transferred into the uterus to continue the pregnancy.

The procedure is less expensive than traditional IVF therapies, but there are studies which show IVF produces a greater quality of embryos. Additionally, there are have been problems with the device; the culture medium may deteriorate, and abnormal embryos cannot be identified before they are transferred into the uterus.

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