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Time-Lapse EmbryoScope: FAQs

At Manchester Fertility we are now offering you the opportunity of time-lapse EmbryoScope monitoring as part of your treatment cycle. Here we explain more about what this latest technology is, and how you may be able to use it during your IVF/ICSI treatment:

What is time-lapse EmbryoScope monitoring?

The EmbryoScope is a new type of special incubator that has a built-in camera, capable of taking pictures of your embryo several times an hour. These pictures are then combined to create a time-lapse video showing the embryo’s development at every vital stage, for our embryology team to assess.

What are the advantages of culturing my embryo in the time-lapse EmbryoScope?

When embryos are developed in our laboratory in a standard culture incubator, they are typically removed from the incubator around four or five times, so we can assess how they are growing and changing. This means that we are removing the embryo from the optimal, controlled conditions of the incubator.

The new EmbryoScope and its time-lapse video capability means our expert embryology team can now carry out these crucial assessments without removing any embryos from the incubator, watching on a daily basis the continuous development of your embryos over several days. This gives our team a highly detailed analysis of your embryos whilst keeping them in the optimal incubator conditions, enabling us to identify the embryos with the highest potential for pregnancy.

Is time-lapse EmbryoScope imaging suitable for everyone to use?

Yes, every patient can have the option to use the time-lapse EmbryoScope but it could be especially valuable if you’ve had previous failed cycles of IVF/ICSI. Our embryologists will be able to gain more information about the crucial early development of your embryo and identify any anomalies that may not be visible with standard laboratory culture. The videos from the EmbryoScope allow us to collate and build up data relating to the precise timings of specific developmental milestones we expect to see in good embryos, recognising embryos that have high implantation potential in future cycles you have.

Are there any risks to using time-lapse EmbryoScope monitoring?

There are no extra risks involved in using time-lapse imaging to monitor your embryos. The EmbryoScope is a fully validated and monitored incubator, just like our standard culture incubators.

However, it’s important to realise that because the EmbryoScope gives our embryology team such highly-detailed information, it may mean that its information suggests that there are fewer or no embryos suitable for transfer, or for freezing, because irregularities have been identified that may not have been seen in a standard culture.

How much does time-lapse EmbryoScope monitoring cost?

The cost to use the EmbryoScope as part of your IVF/ICSI cycle is £695. We have purposely aimed to keep the cost of this new time-lapse technology as low as we can, to ensure as many patients as possible can benefit. This is line with our open and fair policy, which means that unlike other clinics we don’t charge extra for additional help such as blastocyst development.

How many embryos can I have developed in the EmbryoScope?

Each EmbryoScope slot has the capacity to culture up to 12 eggs or embryos. If you have ICSI, your eggs are placed in the EmbryoScope incubator after the ICSI procedure so actual fertilisation can be observed.

If you have IVF, your embryos are placed in the EmbryoScope after they have been checked for fertilisation the day after egg collection. This is because the cells surrounding your embryo have to be removed for the camera to have a clear view of its development.

Once we have identified which of your embryos is most suitable for transfer, we will also provide you with your own copy of its development for you to view, where we will explain to you the key stages we have seen.

Is time-lapse EmbryoScope monitoring any guarantee of IVF success?

Although the EmbryoScope gives us highly-detailed information about your embryo in terms of its development, it does not guarantee it will implant and result in a successful pregnancy and birth. It is designed to enhance the information available to our embryology team about your embryos, so that we can identify those that have the most potential for successful treatment. There are many factors that can influence the outcome of an IVF cycle, but helping ensure that the most viable embryos are transferred is a key part of it.

Is my cycle more likely to fail if I don’t use the EmbryoScope?

At Manchester Fertility we have been using state-of-the-art standard culture incubators for many years, and this – combined with the expertise of our embryologists – has resulted in consistent, successful pregnancy rates across all patients we treat to date. So not opting to use the new time-lapse EmbryoScope incubator does not mean that your cycle is more likely to fail.

Indeed, the incubator which the EmbryoScope is based on, is the type we already use. Our standard culture incubators have individual slots too, so that your embryos can be assessed without affecting any other embryos in that same incubator. The time-lapse EmbryoScope technology simply takes this a step further, allowing even more time undisturbed in the optimal conditions of the incubator and enhancing the information available to our embryologists when they need to identify which embryos to transfer.

If you have any questions about our time-lapse EmbryoScope technology, please contact our friendly team on 0161 300 2730.

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