Could a new IVF technique boost fertility?



now it's a new IVF technique that could boost the chances of producing a successful live birth by as much as fifty six percent a time-lapse imaging system enables thousands of snapshots to be taken of the developing embryo to help avoid miscarriages but doctors are cautious about hailing the system as a breakthrough until further tests are carried out as our science correspondent Asha Tanner reports it's five months since max and Barney arrived the first IVF babies born using embryo incubation developed at a Nottingham clinic the method allows doctors to monitor the health and growth of embryos using time-lapse imaging to select the ones they claim are more likely to turn into a healthy fetus it gave us an extra little bit of reassurance we knew that what the bet the embryos that have been put back inside were the absolute best and this is what an embryo developing looks like the ones that develop the fastest over three to five days are least likely to have abnormalities we used to take the embryos out once a day and have a look at them so we had one image in one day five images in five days now we have this amazing if you like super incubator that is a closed system it protects the embryo it's non-invasive you never have to disturb it and over a five-day period with the microscopes inside this incubator will give us something like five thousand images abnormalities in chromosomes are the largest cause of IVF failure and miscarriages in this preliminary study using just 88 embryos the Nottingham team ranked embryos as low medium or high risk of defects there are two key stages in the early life cycle of an embryo after about day four the cells increase compact and fuse together the first important stage is when a fluid-filled cavity begins to form in the embryo called the blastula it's the time between this and the second stage seen here before the embryo hatches from its protective shell that is seen as a critical period the latest study claims to improve birth rates by 56% but others have said due to the small study size its effectiveness is still uncertain technology that has been used for this model that is a breakthrough the model itself is a first step and it's it's a retrospective study and therefore we do need to have further studies further prospective studies to test the efficacy of this model embryo incubation costs around 750 pounds in addition to the cost of IVF while this is a significant advance many in the field say it's still one which needs more work

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