Jason and Tasha Albus love being parents to their 2-year-old son. They wanted a second child, but after 14 months of trying, they couldn’t get pregnant.
“Everything is biologically okay, obviously we already had one kid, so you would've thought it just would've happened," said Jason.
The couple considered traditional IVF and even tried fertility medication.
“We tried that five rounds and it didn't work so we were ready for the next step,” said Tasha.
Their fertility doctor, Kathy Doody at the Center for Assisted Reproduction in Bedford, told them about something new called Effortless IVF. It’s considered an easier, more natural alternative to In Vitro Fertilization.
“Less medications are used to stimulate the woman's ovaries. This means fewer visits, fewer ultrasounds, and actually no blood work is needed during the effortless IVF cycle,” explained Dr. Doody, who developed the Effortless IVF concept along with her husband and business partner. Their aim is to make IVF more convenient and accessible to women.
Dr. Doody showed News 8 the revolutionary device called INVOcell. Its maker, INVO Bioscience, just received FDA clearance last fall, making it the first of its kind in the United States. All the magic is in the tiny container the size of a champagne cork.
“Inside it contains a little sealed chamber,” said Dr. Doody. “Within minutes of the egg retrieval, the sperm and egg are placed in an INVOcell, then the entire device is placed in the woman's vagina. So, it's more natural because the egg is being fertilized inside the woman's body.”
Upon first hearing how it works, you can imagine many are skeptical.
“When Dr. Doody showed me the device for the Effortless IVF, it was kind of a little strange, but I really like the idea that it's a little bit closer to the natural environment for the embryo,” said Tasha.
So far, studies indicate pregnancy rates with Effortless IVF appear to be similar to traditional IVF.
“We had a live birth rate of just over 55 percent in the vaginal incubator and just over 58 percent in the traditional incubator, so in essence [there's] no difference between the two," said Dr. Doody.
Even better, couples spend about $6,500 for Effortless IVF, instead of $13,000 -- the average cost of traditional IVF.
“We've already had patients coming back to have a second baby the same way,” said Dr. Doody, who added that Effortless IVF isn’t intended to replace traditional IVF. There are several factors that may not make it an option for everyone.
The once-skeptical Tasha and Jason gave it a shot and it worked. Tasha is now well into her second trimester and ready to welcome their newest addition to the family in June.
“To see it now… it has arms and legs and was moving around was amazing to see,” said Tasha at a recent ultrasound. “It was all worth it.”