Posted by Claire Kay, Embryology Team Leader
One of the biggest factors affecting the outcome of your IVF cycle is embryo selection.
Reliant on the expertise and skill of the Embryology team, and any advanced techniques used in the laboratory, it involves identifying which of your embryos has the greatest potential for pregnancy.
At Manchester Fertility our Embryology team have extensive expertise in embryo selection, gained from years of intensive training and clinical practice both in the UK and internationally.
Our Embryologists use a number of specialised techniques and their own skills to identify which of your embryos are most likely to result in a healthy pregnancy and live birth, reducing your chance of failed implantation or miscarriage.
These range from traditional embryo selection methods to more advanced embryo screening procedures:
Traditional personal embryo selection
Traditional embryo selection involves each of your embryos being analysed by our Embryologists in the days after fertilisation, to check development stage and quality.
This form of embryo selection is dependent on the skill of the Embryologist, and at Manchester Fertility our team’s expertise has resulted in strong and consistent pregnancy and live birth rates for our patients to date.
Your embryos are developed in our standard culture incubators that have individual slots, so that your embryos can be assessed without affecting any other embryos in that same incubator.
Extended culture/Blastocyst transfer
Extended culture is when your embryos are developed for longer after fertilisation to a specific cell-stage known as a ‘Blastocyst’. Embryos that reach this advanced stage have a higher chance of successful implantation.
Extended culture is helpful if you’ve produced good quality embryos before, but not achieved a pregnancy. At Manchester Fertility extended culture and blastocyst transfer is free of charge and included in your treatment if it’s a viable option for you.
Our Embryologists will advise on whether extended culture is suitable for your embryos, or whether you would be better to have your embryo transfer at the earlier, standard transfer cell development stage.
EmbryoScope Time-Lapse Monitoring
You may have read about IVF couples seeing videos of their baby as a developing embryo – this is achieved through an EmbryoScope. An EmbryoScope is a special type of incubator that helps us to identify any anomalies that may not be visible with standard laboratory culture and selection methods.
The EmbryoScope has a built in camera which takes several photos an hour of your developing embryos, creating a video of the crucial early stages. Our Embryology team then review the footage to spot the specific developmental milestones we’d expect to see in good embryos.
EmbryoScope time-lapse monitoring gives our team a highly detailed analysis of your embryos whilst keeping them in the optimum incubator conditions. All patients have the option to include time-lapse development in their IVF cycle, but it may be especially useful if you’ve had previous failed cycles of IVF or ICSI.
Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS)
Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening involves screening each embryo’s chromosome numbers through a special test, which carries minimal risk to the embryo.
As only embryos with normal chromosome numbers are selected for transfer, PGS reduces the risk of miscarriage, abnormal pregnancy, IVF failure and the need for multiple cycles.
PGS is only advised in certain circumstances, such as if you’re an older woman and therefore at a higher risk of chromosome abnormalities in pregnancy, you’ve had recurrent miscarriages or failed IVF/ICSI cycles.
Embryo Selection at Manchester Fertility
To begin your IVF treatment with us and benefit from our embryo selection expertise, make an online self-referral to start your journey. We have no IVF waiting list with immediate consultations available, and treat patients from across the North West, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire and beyond. Or call our friendly Patient Advisors on 0161 300 2730.