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UK-based Same-sex Couple Become The First To Carry Baby In Both Of Their Wombs Through IVF

A same-sex couple from the UK has made history by carrying their baby in both their wombs. The procedure termed as 'shared motherhood' has given the women the ultimate opportunity to carry their baby. The couple, Jasmine and Donna Francis-Smith, welcomed their son, Otis, who was born via the ground-breaking In Vivo Natural fertilization technology [1] .

Little Otis was born via in vivo natural fertilisation which involves the eggs being incubated in the mother's body itself, instead of being incubated externally like that of in vitro fertilisation (IVF). The LGBTQ couple benefited from the AneVivo procedure, which was pioneered by Swiss technology company Anecova [2] .

On being asked about the pregnancy and delivery, Jasmine was quoted saying, "It's brought us closer together emotionally. We're a close couple anyway but we both have a special bond with Otis as well which was helped by the way we've done it."

Before being placed into Jasmine's body, the egg was incubated for 18 hours in Dona's body - allowing both the mothers to be a significant part in their child's birth. In contradiction to the normal low rates of success, both the mothers were incredibly lucky to have the IVF work in the first trial itself [3] .

What Is The AneVivo Procedure?

The AneVivo procedure involves placing the eggs of the biological mother inside a miniature capsule and inserted into her womb, where they are incubated. After the incubation of the eggs, they are taken out of the first mother's womb and placed into the womb of the gestational mother, who will carry the baby to the term [4] .

The founder and CEO of Anecova were reported stating that, "the procedure has the potential to bring significant value to London Women's Clinic's already well-established shared motherhood programme, particularly since it enhances the emotional value for the couple."

The procedure allows the interaction between the embryo and the maternal environment, which allows the creation of an emotional connection between the child and the mother. Anecova's groundbreaking technology for In Vivo Natural fertilization can help treat infertility in patients who have damaged fallopian tubes, male factor infertility, endometriosis, unexplained infertility or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. Apart from these, it also helps female same-sex couple to have a baby.

The in vivo natural fertilisation method can be ideally combined with traditional IVF or with procedures requiring mild or no hormonal stimulation [5] .

In Vivo Fertilisation Method Restores Fertilisation

The Anecova team asserts that their method promotes restoration of fertilisation to the natural environment of the maternal womb using an In Vivo fertilisation procedure. And offers numerous benefits to both the mother and the embryos [6] .

Check out the positives of in vivo fertilisation method.

The IVF Method Benefits The Mother Psychologically

Compared to other methods, in vivo natural fertilisation method benefits the mother psychologically as it allows her to play an active and central role in the fertilisation of embryos. The presence of the embryos in the maternal environment will lead to the mother being better prepared for, and more receptive to, embryo implantation [7] [3] .

In addition to being beneficial for the mother's psychological and overall health, it benefits the embryos at the start of their life, during the fertilisation and early development, from optimal conditions within the maternal environment, which in turn can help optimise the production of highly competent embryos [8] .

On A Final Note...

The more natural approach of assisted reproductive technology enables the future parents to play a more active role at the very beginning of fertility treatment, which has indeed contributed towards the increasing demand [9] [10] .

By allowing a stronger emotional involvement in the early stages whilst the maternal environment responds to the presence of the embryos, the embryo is prepared for implantation most healthily - making it an ultimate solution for various reproductive-related problems.

View Article References
  1. [1] Barr, S. (2019, 06 December). SAME-SEX COUPLE BECOME FIRST IN WORLD TO CARRY BABY IN BOTH OF THEIR WOMBS. Retrieved from,
  2. [2] Zhang, J. J., Boyle, M. S., Allen, W. R., & Galli, C. (1989). Recent studies on in vivo fertilisation of in vitro matured horse oocytes. Equine Veterinary Journal, 21(S8), 101-104.
  3. [3] Bézard, J., Magistrini, M., Duchamp, G., & Palmer, E. (1989). Chronology of equine fertilisation and embryonic development in vivo and in vitro. Equine Veterinary Journal, 21(S8), 105-110.
  4. [4] Hull, M. G. R., McLeod, F. N., Joyce, D. N., Ray, B. D., & McDermott, A. (1984). Human in-vitro fertilisation, in-vivo sperm penetration of cervical mucus, and unexplained infertility. The Lancet, 324(8397), 245-246.
  5. [5] Grøndahl, C., Nielsen, C. G., Eriksen, T., Greve, T., & Hyttel, P. (1993). In‐vivo fertilisation and initial embryogenesis in the mare. Equine Veterinary Journal, 25(S15), 79-83.
  6. [6] Kikuchi, K., Ekwall, H., Tienthai, P., Kawai, Y., Noguchi, J., Kaneko, H., & Rodriguez-Martinez, H. (2002). Morphological features of lipid droplet transition during porcine oocyte fertilisation and early embryonic development to blastocyst in vivo and in vitro. Zygote, 10(4), 355-366.
  7. [7] García-Vázquez, F. A., Soriano-Úbeda, C., Laguna-Barraza, R., Izquierdo-Rico, M. J., Navarrete, F. A., Visconti, P. E., ... & Coy, P. (2019). Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) of paternal origin is necessary for the success of in vitro but not of in vivo fertilisation in the mouse. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 31(3), 433-442.
  8. [8] Macome, F. M., Pellikaan, W. F., Schonewille, J. T., Bannink, A., Van Laar, H., Hendriks, W. H., ... & Cone, J. W. (2017). In vitro rumen gas and methane production of grass silages differing in plant maturity and nitrogen fertilisation, compared to in vivo enteric methane production. Animal feed science and technology, 230, 96-102.
  9. [9] Ishigaki, M., & Ozaki, Y. (2016). In vivo monitoring of fertilised fish egg growth by near infrared spectroscopy and imaging. NIR news, 27(6), 7-10.
  10. [10] Erickson, L., Kroetsch, T., & Anzar, M. (2016). Relationship between sperm apoptosis and bull fertility: in vivo and in vitro studies. Reproduction, fertility and development, 28(9), 1369-1375.
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