If you’re having trouble becoming pregnant, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) may be right for you. IVF is used to treat a range of fertility problems. An IVF cycle involves several different steps that will help you increase the chances of becoming pregnant. One of the steps is growing the embryos in a safe undisturbed environment and selecting the embryo most likely to result in the birth of a healthy baby.
After egg collection and successful fertilisation of your eggs you may have more than one embryo available. Those eggs that have been successfully fertilised (now called embryos) will be grown in the laboratory incubator for 2 to 5 days. Your embryologist will monitor their development and the best embryo will then be chosen for transfer.
The embryo transfer may take place after two to three days, when the embryo(s) have reached what is called the ‘cleavage stage’, or when it has reached the blastocyst stage, usually 5-6 days after fertilisation. Not all embryos are capable of leading to a pregnancy. Embryos vary in quality and the better the quality, the more likely an embryo is to implant in the womb and lead to a pregnancy.
Currently, embryologists must remove the embryo from the incubator to perform three to five brief evaluations of the developing embryo, at fixed time-points over 2 to 5 days, in order to check different criteria for selecting the best embryo. Such as the number of cells and how fast they are dividing.
The evaluation time allowed for these ‘snap-shot’ evaluations is limited by the need to minimise the time embryos spend outside of the safe environment of the incubator. This is to avoid embryo stress which can reduce the quality of the embryo and therefore the chances of pregnancy.
But with time-lapse technology, embryologists are able to monitor your embryos through the full course of their development without removing them from the safe environment of the incubator.
A specially designed digital microscope, called Primo Vision, takes images every 10 minutes while the embryos remain in the traditional incubator.
As a result, time-lapse videos of individual embryos are generated over the 2 to 5 days they remain in the incubator.
Your embryologist uses advanced software to look at the time-lapse movies of your embryos to select the best ones for transfer and freezing.
With Primo Vision your embryos remain protected in the incubator and stay undisturbed in their stable and warm environment for the entire culture duration.
Observing features of early embryo development is important for when IVF professionals evaluate the embryo’s potential to implant and become a successful pregnancy. The traditional ‘snap-shot’ evaluations have been reported to miss critical embryo development patterns, but with Primo Vision your embryologist does not miss a thing.
Traditional evaluation is likely to miss abnormal cleavage patterns. One abnormal cleavage pattern is direct cleavage which has been shown to occur in up to 26% of embryos and to reduce chances of implantation after transfer.1,2 This is when your embryos divide directly from 1 to 3 cells instead of dividing normally from 1 to 2 to 4 to 8. Another abnormal cleavage pattern is when embryos go from a higher to a lower cell number.
Traditional evaluation misses more than 70% of embryos that have an abnormal number of nuclei. An abnormal number of nuclei has been shown to result in lower implantation rates.3,4
With time-lapse videos gained from using Primo Vision your embryologist has the best information possible about the entire embryo development history to decide which embryos to transfer or freeze for future use.
Primo Vision has software tools that help embryologists make the best choice. Information which has been gathered from thousands of IVF cycles performed worldwide can be used to identify development patterns which are most likely to have a successful result.
The use of time-lapse has been associated with significantly higher ongoing clinical pregnancy rate, significantly lower early pregnancy loss and a significantly increased live birth rate compared to traditional culture.5
A report has summarised the combined results of five clinical studies. In 1637 patient treatments, there was a statistically significant improvement in ongoing pregnancy rate as well as live birth rate and a significantly lower early pregnancy loss in the treatments where Primo Vision was used, compared to traditional culture and evaluation.5
*Actual results vary between individual clinics
**All elegible studies published up to the date of publication
The use of Primo Vision time-lapse technology resulted in the first baby born in May 2010. Since then it has been widely implemented in IVF clinics worldwide.
We are very happy that we were able to benefit from this technology. We have conceived two lovely little babies, a boy and a girl.
Ask your clinician to find out more about Primo Vision and how it can help improve your chances for a successful IVF treatment.
A retrieval needle, called Sense, gives you a fast and precise egg collection that retrieves the maximal amount of undamaged eggs without complications.Read more
Embryologists are able to monitor your embryos' development without removing them from the safe environment of the incubator.Read more
EmbryoGlue is a medium that closely resembles the environment in the womb at the time of implantation, which can support implantation even more.Read more
1. Rubio, I., et al., Limited implantation success of direct-cleaved human zygotes: a time-lapse study. Fertil Steril, 2012. 98(6): p. 1458-63.
2. Zhan, Q., et al., Direct Unequal Cleavages: Embryo Developmental Competence, Genetic Constitution and Clinical Outcome. PLoS One, 2016. 11(12): p. e0166398.
3. Ergin, E.G., et al., Frequency of embryo multinucleation detected by time-lapse system and its impact on pregnancy outcome. Fertil Steril, 2014. 102(4): p. 1029-1033 e1.
4. Desch, L., et al., Embryo multinucleation at the two-cell stage is an independent predictor of intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes. Fertil Steril, 2017. 107(1): p. 97-103 e4.
5. Pribenszky, C., A.M. Nilselid, and M. Montag, Time-lapse culture with morphokinetic embryo selection improves pregnancy and live birth chances and reduces early pregnancy loss: a meta-analysis. Reprod Biomed Online, 2017.