Women could soon get pregnant while going about their daily routine with the help from a small pump worn on the thigh that slowly releases sperm, according to scientists.
The ‘Evie’ device consists of a catheter inserted into the uterus, an insemination syringe, and a pump that slowly releases sperm with a timer. It’s worn like a holster on a woman’s thigh.
It differs from traditional intrauterine insemination (IUI) in that the sperm is slowly filtered through the cervix, mimicking nature, rather than introduced by a one-off injection into the womb.
The treatment, which had a pregnancy success rate of 17.5 percent in a recent clinical trial, has been approved and should be available in a small number of UK clinics sometime next year.
By contrast, the traditional IUI technique has an 8.2 percent pregnancy success rate.
“This device gives women more freedom,” said David Dally of Reproductive Sciences, the US-based company developing the product, according to The Times.
“The catheter is initially inserted by a health professional and then [the patient] is free to leave the clinic, go to work, go home. Four hours later they can remove the device themselves.
It is a low-cost treatment that requires very little technology.”
After treatment, patients throw away the device.
The therapy is likely to cost around £600, similar to existing IUI methods, but will be far cheaper than IVF, one cycle of which can exceed £5,000.
‘Evie’ is suitable for women under the age of 35 with an unexplained reason for infertility, same sex or donor pregnancies or women with endometriosis – a condition which can result in infertility.
Artificial insemination, currently with IUIs, is available in Britain on the National Health Service (NHS) to women in same-sex relationships or those who have difficulty conceiving because of disabilities.