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. Using the data collected from the Embryoscope, Fertility North has developed and published a much more detailed embryo selection method than the conventional embryo scoring system.
The best selection of embryos using the Embryoscope occurs by culturing them all to at least day 3 before transfer.
The Embryoscope has undergone rigorous testing before being introduced into routine practice at Fertility North. The Embryoscope captures thousands of pictures of each embryo to assist the embryologist in optimising the selection of the embryo or embryos for transfer and storage.
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.
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. A copy of the video is available, upon request, if you have a confirmed pregnancy.
The Embryoscope is an expensive piece of equipment, engineered to the highest standards. It also uses specialised culture dishes over and above that of a conventional incubator. Fertility North have structured the cost of Embryoscope into the IVF/ICSI cycle so patients are not required to pay any additional fees.
Fertility North currently only has one Embryoscope, which has a capacity of 72 embryos. So, there may be occasions when the Embryoscope is full and not available for any additional patients.
This will not prejudice your treatment in any way, and we shall simply undertake embryo inspection and selection using conventional culture.
Dr Melanie Walls our Scientific Director will be happy to answer any questions or queries. If you require assistance please call (08) 9301 1075 during clinic opening hours.
For more information on, please visit the Vitrolife Embryoscope website using by clicking here.