Time-Lapse Technology

Fertility Treatment Options
Key Points

  • Time-lapse technology is a non-invasive method of selecting embryos for transfer
  • It provides a stable environment for embryo development and can contribute to reducing early pregnancy loss.

What is Time Lapse Technology?

Time lapse is an old imaging technique, where a camera is set to record a series of images at regular intervals. This technology is now available for monitoring the development of embryos during IVF before they are transferred into the uterus.

After the egg is fertilised, it needs to grow for a few days before it is placed in the uterus. Not all fertilised eggs develop to good quality embryos, which reduces the chances of implantation and live birth.

Before this technology was available, the embryologist would have to take the embryos out of the incubator to assess them through a microscope and decide which had the best chance of developing into a baby.

Today, time-lapse, takes pictures of the fertilised egg whilst it’s developing in the incubator. The embryologist has access to these pictures on his computer and is able to identify embryo development potential.

Instead of making a decision based on how the embryo looks at that one instant before it’s placed in the uterus, the embryologist uses thousands of pictures from the whole period of development which lasted a few days. This is a non-invasive way to identify the embryos least likely to have abnormal numbers of chromosomes.

Benefits of Time Lapse Technology

  • Improving embryo selection
  • Providing a stable environment for embryo development
  • Contributing to reducing early pregnancy loss
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