Time Lapse Monitoring & Imaging
Well you may be hearing a lot about time lapse monitoring & imaging in the news but at InterTRust Fertility we’ve been offering the technology for almost 2 years. So some scientists are claiming it increases success rates by up to 15%, but what’s it all about?
We’ll start with exploring how the monitoring your embryos happens if you don’t actually use this new technology. This generally means taking the plastic dishes which store your growing embryos and examining them under a microscope which is heated to body temperature. When the embryologist has finished examining the embryos they are then returned to the incubator , maintained at body temperature as quickly as possible. This is done help prevent any damage to the embryos that may occurred because of tiny changes in temperature as they are physically moved around the lab. This whole procedure can be repeated a couple of times a day to show your embryologist with snap shots of the growing embryos. This in turn gives them critical information on which ones are the most likely to envelop into at foetus and give you a successful pregnancy.
So during the whole of your IVF or IVF +ICSI treatment your embryos will be kept in a strictly controlled environment in heated incubators. Your embryos will then be examined to identify which are developing to an optimal point for egg transfer back into you – this process takes places over a period of two – six days. During this process, our embryology teams are able to view which of your embryos give you the best chances of pregnancy. Because time lapse monitoring replicates the stable environment of your womb and also reduces the amount of disruption to the embryos you could be more likely to have a successful treatment.
The process of monitoring your embryos involves removing the plastic dishes which store the growing embryos and examining them under a heated microscope. When the clinician has finished examining the embryos they must be returned to the temperature controlled incubator as quickly as possible to avoid any damage to the embryos. This process may be repeated once or twice a day to provide the clinicians with snap shots of the developing embryos and provide them with information on which are likely to have a high chance of implantation.
How does time lapse monitoring work?
The advantage on time lapse monitoring is that it allows your growing embryos to be constantly monitored in a precisely controlled environment. As we mentioned before, if your embryos are removed from their incubator a couple of times a day to be reviewed under the microscope – with time lapse monitoring your embryos do not have to be taken out of the incubator – basically the less we disturb the better! Whats so different about this process is that it literally monitors your embryos continuously, taking images of each embryo every twenty minutes. In total the system takes 72 pictures each day of every one of your growing embryo. This gives our embryologies a large amount of information on the progress of each developing embryo.
Our embryologists can then view your embryos on a large screen while they physically sit inside the incubator. This enables our embryology team to observe any embryos at any time. Time lapse imaging also provides continuous moving time-lapse images which for instance recored overnight & then reviewed the next day. Obviously not using time lapse monitoring means your embryos go unchecked throughout the night & the embryologists don’t know how well the cells have divided (cleavage) during this time.
Because time lapse imaging allows your embryos to be constantly monitored we have much more information. Your embryologists are now able to see your embryos’ process that could have otherwise been missed without the using the process. Our lab teams can now view what developments have happened in each embryo both day and night. Be replicates the stable environment that the womb provides thus reducing the amount of disruption to the embryos. See more about the technology HERE.
Time lapse monitoring & imaging costs
As with all new techniques in IVF, time lapse monitoring & imaging isn’t cheap. Typically the extra use of the EmbryoScope™ in the UK is around £800. The good news is that with our clinics you can access this great technology for only €150 Euros per day, which is not only less than the UK, but you are only charged for the days you use! Also the system can take up to a maximum of twelve embryos, meaning you’ll be able to use the time lapse monitoring for embryos that can be frozen for a second cycle. Giving you a better chance even for a second attempt with frozen embryo’s.
But of course the use of time lapse monitoring added cost to your already expensive treatment, however our fertility clinics are already encouraged by the increased pregnancy rates they are achieving & because we generally save patients up to 40% on the cost of their treatment the relatively small added cost is worth it to many patients.
Its easy to understand that the less interference that your embryos is subjected to whilst waiting for the transfer, the more closely we are mimicking the way they would have likely developed in their natural environment inside the womb. Paying for time lapse monitoring or time lapse imaging is obviously one aspect of your treatment you’ll need to consider. When looking at the pro’s and con’s most patients seem to think there are many more positives than negatives. In fact the only significant negative is the cost & with us hopefully that is quite a bit less than time lapse technologies in the UK.
If you want more information on any of our IVF techniques including time lapse monitoring please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 824 7874.
Topic: Time lapse monitoring & imaging