INVOcell Treatment Device
A new low cost IVF style treatment device has been approved for use in Europe and Canada. The company, InvoBioscience (BioXcell) is now applying for the necessary permission to market the device in China and treatment trials are currently underway in Pakistan. Trials for this device are expected shortly in the United States with FDA approval aimed for by 2011.
What Is It?
This device, the INVOcell TM, is a small incubator type capsule that fits inside the woman's vagina. The sperm and egg are put in a culture medium and then put in the device which is placed in the natural incubator of the woman's body. After three days incubation, inside the woman, the embryo is transferred to the womb.
What Is The Advantage?
Because the procedure is relatively simple, it is more accessible to more women, especially those who live far from IVF centers. Erratic electricity supplies in remote areas can detrimentally affect the CO2 incubators normally used in conventional IVF treatment. But, by using the INVOcell device instead, trained local physicians can use the woman's internal body temperature to safeguard the growing cells.
Medical personnel also use an easier egg retrieval system from the woman using either no ovarian stimulation or only a mild stimulation medication which can be done under a light local anesthetic. After the three day incubation period the trained physician can examine the resulting embryos without removing them from the device. After picking the best one, or at most two, they can easily be transferred directly to the woman's womb.
Another factor is that the woman is more involved with the whole procedure which is psychologically very beneficial. IVF labs can very occasionally make mistakes like transferring the wrong embryo into a woman, but with this procedure it simply can't happen. However conventional IVF treatment which allows a woman's retrieved eggs to be frozen for future use may still be more suitable for some women.
Does It Work?
Case studies show that INVOcell gives a success rate similar to that of conventional IVF treatment for a much lower cost. At a conference held in San Salvador early in 2010, physicians from all over South America heard details of a research study on the device. This study, which was conducted by fertility center in Bogota, Columbia, looked at 50 patients who had the INVOcell procedure. The researchers told the conference members that the study had a 36% clinical pregnancy success rate (fetal heartbeat at 7 weeks) with only 6% of the women having a multiple pregnancy. This is a very favorable result, especially for a new technique that physicians are not so familiar with.
Where Can I Get It?
INVOcell is not currently available in the United States as it still has to receive FDA approval. However it is available in some European countries as well as Canada, Latin America and the Middle East. The manufactures hope that it will soon be widely available in Asia as well, once they get the necessary approvals.
The simplified procedure involved with the INVOcell and the resulting reduced costs makes IVF style assisted reproduction more affordable to infertile couples the world over.