If you’re considering IVF, you may be pleased to hear that scientists have created new technological advances that they hope will improve pregnancy success rates for IVF. The use of time lapse technology has allowed scientists to gain more understanding of how embryos develop, and has enabled them to make more informed embryo selections for implantation.
Using the previous method, around 24% of implanted IVF embryos resulted in live births. Using the new time lapse technology, experts believe this figure could increase to as high as 74% once the technique in perfected.
Time Lapse Technology Monitors Embryo Development
The time lapse technology is used to check the development of the embryo at regular intervals. This information is then analyzed by a computer. In the previous method, embryos would be removed from the incubator once a day, and analyzed by a clinician. The time lapse technology and use of computers allows the embryos to stay in the incubator.
Photographs are taken at regular intervals (20, 10 or 5 minutes depending on the method used at your clinic), allowing for a detailed understanding of the development of the embryos. The shorter the intervals between photos, the more detailed the information available for analysis. The computer then uses an algorithm to analyze the development of the embryos, and determine which ones stand a better chance of developing into a baby.
The time lapse technology also allows for a more precise understanding of the embryos. Research identified that embryos with chromosomal abnormalities take more than 100 hours to reach the blastocyst stage. Using this new technology, the computer is able to identify the embryos at risk of having chromosomal abnormalities.
The timings of embryo development are crucial, and the computer is able to identify which embryos have delayed development. These embryos, though they may appear similar to their counterparts, in fact stand a decreased chance of success. For example, the time a blastocyst takes to be fully formed can be an indicator of health.
The time lapse technology allows scientists a bit insight into embryo health. Using the previous method, though all embryos may look equally healthy, statistically only 25% of them would have the potential to develop into a baby. Using the new technology, however, scientists will be able to determine which embryos make up that 25%, and to choose these for implantation.
The technology is not yet being used to its full capacity, but studies have found an increased success rate when using the time lapse technology. As more clinics and more couples choose to use this method, scientists will develop a better understanding of how to select the embryos with the best potential.
Embryo Health Monitoring Already Taking Place –
Live Births Achieved
Babies conceived using this advanced technology have already been born, and the technology is becoming more widely available. The time lapse technology was first used in this was by researchers from Stanford University in 2010. Since then, clinical trials around the world have found positive results. The time lapse method is growing in popularity around the world, with a number of US clinics now offering this technology. The time lapse technology increases the cost of IVF treatments, but also increases the chances of the IVF being a success.
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