11 May 2016

In Vivo Fertilization, a promising development

By the Editorial Comitee IVI Blog

IVI Bilbao has achieved the birth of the first baby in Spain gestated using a new natural In Vivo Fertilization technique. The technology, called AneVivo, allows the fertilization and early development of the embryo in the womb, using a capsule rather than in a laboratory incubator as is the case in the current process of In Vitro Fertilization. The Anecova capsule, developed by the prestigious Swiss company, is less than one millimetre in diameter and has hundreds of tiny perforations to facilitate communication between the embryo and its natural environment.

This advanced technology, in which the IVI Bilbao centre is a pioneer, is a solution that opens up promising prospects regarding assisted reproduction technology and is a return to the solution that is more like the natural processes. Thus, the fertilization and embryonic development take place in vivo (inside a capsule in the mother’s uterus) instead of in vitro (in a test tube).

Although the idea seems simple, putting it into practice has required the development of both the capsule and a system for its insertion into the uterus, with the implementation of cutting-edge technologies and complicated studies on the materials used.

More natural fertilization inside the mother’s uterus

The technique consists of inserting the eggs and sperm into the device to perform the fertilization and subsequent embryonic development inside the mother’s womb. After a few days, the device is removed and the best embryos are select to be reinserted into the mother’s uterus.

“This is a great challenge because it allows the embryo to be fertilized and to develop from the first few hours in its natural environment and under the same conditions of light, temperature and nutrients that it would have if it had been conceived naturally. In addition, from the psychological point of view, it allows parents to get closer to the assisted reproduction process” explained Dr. Marcos Ferrando, Director of IVI Bilbao, which has contributed very actively in the development of this method.

Since the launch of this innovative device at IVI Bilbao, the first and only centre in the country to offer this technology, we have achieved very good results in improving the treatment of couples with fertility problems.

“We are proud that IVI Bilbao has given birth to the first baby conceived through natural fertilization using this advanced technology. This Spanish clinic has become a centre of excellence for natural fertilization procedures in assisted reproduction”, said Martin Velasco, president and founder of Anecova.

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