By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s being called “natural” IVF and offers a woman the option to have the embryos form inside her womb rather than outside. But as Dr. Mallika Marshall reports, there is no proof that it is better than traditional IVF.

In conventional IVF, a doctor removes eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizes them with sperm in a lab. With this new technique, developed in the United Kingdom, the eggs and sperm are enclosed in a capsule which is then placed inside a woman’s uterus for 24 hours during which fertilization occurs.

The capsule is then removed, suitable embryos are selected and then placed back into the uterus with the hope that a pregnancy will result.

The thought is that a couple can feel more involved in the process and that being in the womb’s environment during fertilization might give the developing embryos a better chance.

However, according to Dr. Michael Alper, Medical Director of Boston IVF, there’s no evidence that this type of IVF is any better than traditional IVF.

“We don’t know what the ultimate success rate will be,” says Dr. Alper, “And at the end of the day when couples come to see me or any fertility specialist they want a healthy baby. We just don’t know from this technique if that’s going to improve things,” he adds.

Dr. Alper says the procedure is not exactly “natural”, that fertilization usually occurs in the Fallopian tubes and not the uterus.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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