Team Miracle at Cyprus IVF Centre are delighted to announce the arrival of the EmbryoScope® time lapse imaging system. We are the only hospital in the whole of Cyprus who will be offering the EmbryoScope® facility.
What is the EmbryoScope ®?
The EmbryoScope® is the most advanced incubator available on the IVF market today. It maintains the necessary physiological conditions required by an embryo whilst it is developing in the IVF laboratory and mimics the natural environment of the mother’s body.
The EmbryoScope® is a fully integrated time lapse imaging system whereby a camera continuously captures images at pre-set intervals and records them as a video of the embryonic development. This system allows the Team Miracle embryologist at Cyprus IVF Centre to monitor the division of the cells within the embryos while they remain safely nestled in the incubator.
Advantages with using EmbryoScope ®
1. Safe continuous monitoring
In traditional in-vitro fertilisation ( IVF) or an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles, the embryos will be kept in a strictly controlled environment in heated incubators. At Cyprus IVF Centre, we use modern bench top incubators to provide the best quality for the developing embryos. Each patient’s embryos have a different section in the incubator and so when the embryos for one couple need to be checked, other patients’ embryos are not affected.
However, the majority of other IVF clinics use large old fashioned incubators where all of the embryos are kept in a single compartment. This means that every time a patient’s embryos are removed, all of the embryos in the incubator are exposed to environmental changes.
During IVF with normal incubation, the embryos have to be removed from the incubator on a daily basis to monitor their development and morphological observations will be made at that time. Removal from the incubator results in humidity, air pressure and temperature changes which can be harmful to the embryo.
The Embryoscope® system allows continuous monitoring of all embryos without removal from the incubator. This is a massive advantage of using the Embryoscope incubator along with your IVF in Cyprus.
2. Access to cell division and developmental patterns
Recent studies have shown that the cell division pattern of embryos is extremely important when determining which embryos have the best potential for successful implantation and development into a healthy pregnancy. There is an increasing body of evidence that proves that specific cell time points and events are particularly important for predicting further development potential. By assessing the state of the embryo at these certain time points, we can select the best embryos for the embryo transfer. It has been shown that embryos with specific division times and developmental patterns can have up to a 15% – 20% better chance of pregnancy.
These time points can only be recorded fully if monitored by a time lapse camera. Traditional routine observations under the microscope cannot show all of the time points since they vary from embryo to embryo. In order to catch the important development under a normal microscope, the embryo would have to spend more time out of the incubator than in it, and that is practically impossible if the embryo is going to survive.
3. Improved embryo selection for early embryo transfers
At Cyprus IVF Centre, we offer blastocyst transfer whenever possible. The reason for this is that blastocysts generally have a better chance of developing into a successful pregnancy when compared with day 3 embryos. However, in some situations, the embryos will not be strong enough to develop for 5 days in the laboratory or there may not be enough embryos to take the risk of waiting for an extra 2 days before the transfer. In addition, patients may not be able to take a lot of time off work or other commitments that they have at home and so we have to complete the treatment in a shorter space of time.
Without the EmbryoScope® it’s not possible to determine which day 3 embryos have the best chance of continuing to grow.The doctor and the embryologist will make an educated guess as to which four embryos look most normal and those are the ones which will be transferred.
However, the EmbryoScope® serves as an excellent tool for predicting the best embryos for transfer without the need to leave the embryos for extended periods in culture. The Team Miracle embryologists can view the time lapse sequence of development to check if the embryo has divided symmetrically and at the relevant time points. If, for example, an embryo has developed slowly or divided from 2 to 5 cells instead of 2 to 4 cells then it will not be selected for the embryo transfer.
4. Predicting Chromosomal Abnormalities
The only guaranteed method for detecting chromosome abnormalities is pre-implantation genetic diagnosis which is a separate treatment offered by Team Miracle at Cyprus IVF Centre. Please see our PGD and gender selection pages for more information.
For patients who do not wish to undertake PGD treatment, the EmbryoScope® could be beneficial. There is increasing evidence to suggest that the EmbryoScope® can be used to help predict which embryos might be chromosomally abnormal. Chromosomally normal and abnormal embryos react differently and have variations in their division time and pattern. We can record this information with EmbryoScope® time lapse images and use the video of development to predict which embryos are more likely to be chromosomally normal.
5. Parents receive more information about their embryos
One of the most nerve-wracking parts of IVF treatment abroad, or indeed anywhere, is worrying about how your embryos are developing in the time between egg collection and embryo transfer. With traditional IVF, embryologists prefer not to remove the embryos from the incubators too often because it can affect their development. This means that you don’t get regular updates during the procedure.
With the EmbryoScope® system, you can get information regularly throughout your time in Cyprus which will make your Cyprus IVF treatment a much more relaxed experience.
In addition, we can provide you a CD containing the images of your future babies to take home with you. It will be a very special addition to the family photo album!
Which patients will benefit from the use of the EmbryoScope® ?
EmbryoScope® technology is beneficial for all patients having IVF in Cyprus. Regardless of whether you are using your own eggs or donor eggs, if you are having IVF or gender selection, EmbryoScope® can be used to ensure that the best embryos are transferred in order to maximise the chance of success during your first cycle at Cyprus IVF Centre.
For patients who already have children or single women who wish to only have a singleton pregnancy and don’t want to face the possibility of twins, Embryoscope images can help us select the one best embryo from those available. Any extra embryos can be frozen for use in the future if the patient wishes to return for a sibling. See our cryopreservation page for more information.
If you would like to apply EmbryoScope® to your IVF cycle with Team Miracle, please discuss the options with one of our International Patients Coordinators. The price for this additional service at Cyprus IVF Centre is 700 euros per cycle.
Why should you come to Cyprus IVF Centre for Embryoscope IVF treatment ?
Your Questions Answered.
1. What kind of incubator system were you using before you installed EmbryoScope?
Time lapse systems tend to be smaller, bench top incubators. The size and recovery of smaller incubators have been shown to improve embryo quality and pregnancy rates. However, the embryologist must have long term experience with using these types of incubators in order to achieve the maximum benefit from them.
At Cyprus IVF Centre, we solely use small bench-top incubators and have done for a long time because we believe this offers the embryos the most stable environment in which to grow. The Team Miracle embryologists have a huge amount of experience and regularly attend seminars to hone their skills.
2. Do you use a different culture media in the EmbryoScope than you do in your other incubators, or did you change media to accommodate the time lapse system?
At Cyprus IVF Centre, we offer EmbryoGen ® and BlastGen ® culture media which have been proven to increase pregnancy rates in all patients, specifically those who have experienced implantation failure or miscarriages in the past.
3. Do you expect to do a day 3 or day 5 embryo transfer from my embryos in the Embryoscope ?
Some clinics prefer to do day 3 embryo transfers or they implement an additional charge for a 5 day blastocyst transfer due to the extra laboratory work required. When you have IVF in Cyprus at the Cyprus IVF Centre, The doctor will base her decision on what will give you the best chance of pregnancy. Every patient is different so we never apply a “one-size-fits-all” approach to any treatment. We take the embryos to blastocyst stage whenever it is possible with no additional fee.
4. Who evaluates the photos of my embryos ?
When selecting the clinic for your IVF treatment, you must ensure that the person in charge of evaluating the EmbryoScope images is a fully qualified, trained embryologist who has specific training in embryo cell division criteria. As mentioned previously, the Team Miracle embryologists have a vast amount of experience in their field. Furthermore, the embryologists, doctor and coordinators have all had full training by the technical support team from Vitrolife, the EmbryoScope developers.
5. Will it cost me extra to have my embryos incubated in the Embryoscope ?
There is an extra charge of 700 EUR for the use of the EmbryoScope facility due to the unique EmbryoSlide® culture dish, culture medium and CDs required for every patient using the system. At Cyprus IVF Centre, we strongly feel that the EmbryoScope incubator is an exciting advance in technology and will truly produce better pregnancy results from your IVF treatment in Cyprus.