Revolutionary EmbryoScope Technology Allows Baby’s First Video
By Marta Waller
After suffering two miscarriages, 38-year-old Emily and her husband, John, turned to InVitro Fertilization to help them realize their dreams of becoming parents.
The couple began their journey with a sense of renewed purpose and hope at Southern California Reproductive Center in Beverly Hills under the care of the practice co-founder, Dr. Hal Danzer. They were thrilled when they learned Emily was pregnant, but lost the baby at five months because of a genetic disorder. The couple was devastated by the loss and beginning to believe they would never be parents.
Then Dr. Danzer suggested using the EmbryoScope for Emily’s next cycle of IVF. One of the most innovative new technologies available in fertility treatment, the high-tech EmbryoScope is an incubator with a built-in camera/computer system that produces time-lapse images of the developing embryo every 20 minutes, from fertilization through blastocyst, when the embryo is ready for transfer to the uterus. This pioneering technique allows embryo cell division to be viewed on a monitor in real time, capturing potentially critical moments in development from the beginning of life.
The FDA-approved EmbryoScope provides continuous image capture for every embryo. The images are recorded as a video, allowing embryos to be monitored fully so doctors can gather all the details that emerge during the first days of their development. Unlike traditional IVF incubators, the delicate embryos are never removed from the EmbryoScope. This allows doctors to compile information about the embryos without ever disturbing their environment.
David Hill, Ph.D., scientific director at SCRC says the EmbryoScope offers the most remarkable view of human life at its first stages. “Technology is in its infancy but it shows great promise as a non-invasive method of embryo evaluation and selection.”
The Embryoscope eliminates the need for removing the embryos from the incubator which increases the chances of pregnancy, as there is no need to handle the embryos or interfere with the environment and climate.
Emily underwent another cycle of IVF, hopeful this time doctors would be able to minimize the possibility of abnormalities before the embryo transfer.
“We retrieved four eggs during Emily’s cycle, and fertilized them with John’s sperm. They were placed in the EmbryoScope where we could watch each cell division. This allowed us to select the embryo we believed had the best chance of developing into a healthy pregnancy,” says Dr. Danzer.
Emily and John waited for the pregnancy test to come back, and were elated when it was positive. Today, Emily is six months pregnant with a healthy baby. Sitting with John in their Beverly Hills home, Emily says of the EmbryoScope “It’s like having a high-end baby sitter for our embryo. It’s getting the best care possible in the best situation.”