CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - A Butler County fertility doctor is the first to have a successful pregnancy through INVOcell.
Dr. Neeoo Chin is a Cincinnati native and runs an office in West Chester where he specializes in fertilization.
“We are seeing people from a lot of different places,” Dr. Chin said. “We see people as far away as Charlotte and Atlanta and we have a lot of people from Pennsylvania and Indiana for Invocell.”
INVOcell is a form of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). INVOcell works different than traditional IVF treatments because during this process the mother functions as the incubator. The sperm and egg are collected from the mother and father and are placed inside a small container about the size of a wine cork.
“The lab folks will isolate the eggs, and then they will look at the sperm and place the perfect amount of sperm within this device again, along with the handful of eggs,” Dr. Chin said. “It’s sealed and within 3-5 days we’ll have embryos.”
The top one or two embryos are then taken and placed back inside the mother.
Maninder Kaur is the proud mother-to-be who is the first successful pregnancy using INVOcell in the state of Ohio. Kaur is expecting twins.
“The device stays within you. There is very little time everything is outside of your body, it’s only 2 hours,” Kaur said. “So, pretty much it’s close to the natural way of conceiving. That was another added thing that I liked because, I was like, all of the process… instead of having it in the incubator it’s still happening inside of your body so you feel more attached.”
The biggest perk, for those choosing to get pregnant through INVOcell, is the price tag. The cost of the procedure can be thousands of dollars less expensive than traditional IVF treatments.
“That was a big factor,” Kaur said. “Instead of paying $20,000 for traditional IVF, I was only paying like $4,500 for INVOcell, plus medication. So, not more than $8,000 - so it was like half the cost.”
“For some people $4,000 or $5,000 may not seem like a lot of money but that is a tremendous amount of money. That may make or break the ability to do an IVF cycle,” Dr. Chin said.
While the cost is lower for patients, the profits may also be lower for doctors choosing to offer this type of IVF.
“There are huge labs where the overhead and the salaries need to be made so… but, you know, this is Cincinnati. This is my home. I grew up here,” Dr. Chin said. “I’ve taken care of people I’ve gone to school with. I’ve taken care of their kids.”
The INVOcell website outlines the risks associated with the treatment. Some of the biggest concerns are the possibility that the device can fall out of the mother and that embryos aren’t able to be monitored while inside the mother.
“If you hit all the perfect criteria, the age, the not severe endometriosis… pregnancy rates are very similar to traditional IVF which is about 50 to 60 percent per embryo transfer,” Dr. Chin said.
Dr. Chin said the procedure was first developed in the late 70’s when a French doctor lost power during an IVF procedure. With no incubators to place the reproductive components in the doctor decided to use the mother to keep sperm and egg at the correct temperature.
Although it’s been decades since the procedure was first discovered, Dr. Chin said it has only just recently been perfected and he feels it will continue to grow in popularity because of the low cost compared to traditional IVF.
“It’s more cost effective because you taking the laboratory part out of it and less medicine. So, you’re probably reducing the cost of IVF about $4,000 to $5,000,” Dr. Chin said.