An Embryoscope is a specialised incubator, designed specifically for the culture of human embryos, which has been fitted with a time-lapse camera. This camera takes several images of each embryo during its time in culture, which results in a video of each embryo’s development.
Embryos are selected for transfer by the Embryologist based on their development.
Scoring systems are used to give each embryo grade, which is determined by the appearance and patterns of development of the embryo. Such scoring systems are limited due to the score often being subjective, and the isolated snapshot of embryo development may not tell the full story. Time-lapse video systems are now available to monitor embryo growth, and make objective measurements of the time between cell divisions. Embryoscope is the time-lapse incubator that has been chosen by Fertility North.
The best selection of embryos using the Embryoscope occurs by culturing them all to at least day 3 before transfer.
Will Time-Lapse Embryo culture help me?
The effectiveness of the Embryoscope is still uncertain. However, the results from a couple of units around the world are very encouraging. The Embryoscope has undergone rigorous testing before being introduced into routine practice at Fertility North and we have also registered it as an “innovative procedure” with the Reproductive Technology Council of Western Australia to facilitate closer monitoring of its use. That said, it is not for everyone, and cannot make a poor embryo good. So, your Doctor and/or Embryologist will talk to you about whether you might be suitable.
The aim is to use the Embryoscope time-lapse video system to assist in the selection of the embryo or embryos for transfer and storage.
How does time-lapse culture differ from routine culture?
In routine practice, the progress and development of your embryos is monitored once or twice a day. This requires the Embryologist to remove your embryos from the incubator and examine them under a microscope, before returning them to the incubator. Effectively, this gives us a snapshot or two of what your embryos are doing each day. Using the Embryoscope, embryos can be observed at any time of the day or night, without the embryos being removed from the culture environment. So, we have what is, in effect, a feature film of the development of each embryo.
Who will see the recordings of my embryos?
The video recordings of the embryos will only be seen by staff at Fertility North. No identifying information about you will be shared with anyone outside of the clinic. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with a copy.