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The Embryoscope is a specialized incubator that safely takes pictures of embryos at ten-minute intervals without the need to take them out of the safe environment of their incubator. This technology, also known as timelapse imaging, allows us to see a video of a 5 day embryo (blastocyst) with all the details of development, giving the lab a very important tool in embryo selection for transfer.

Using this information to choose the most viable embryo(s) for transfer translates into higher success rates for IVF. This is due to the Embryoscope providing important information, such as timing of significant events in the development of the embryo.

Recent scientific literature has shown increases in success rates when this technology is used. In one randomized controlled trial, the ongoing pregnancy rate per embryo transfer was higher by 16.7% with the use of the Embryoscope when compared to regular incubators. This was due to “strictly controlled and stable incubation conditions, minimal handling and increased information of embryo development and use of quantitative parameters for selecting embryos”. (Rubio et al., Fert Steril 2014 Sept.)

Not only has the Embryoscope shown a significant increase in ongoing pregnancy rates and implantation rates, but it has also shown a significant decrease in early pregnancy loss in the group that participated in the randomized trial.

Above all, the Embryoscope is a very stable and safe incubator: it has the dual capability of taking images under very controlled conditions, and at the same time, posing no risk to the embryos. The light used for imaging is on a very dim wavelength, and exposes embryos to this light for only milliseconds.

Like all the equipment in the LifeQuest lab, the Embryoscope is connected to an alarm system that notifies us of any malfunction. All crucial equipment is also attached to a power back system so there is no disruption of service during power outages.

The Embryoscope has been registered and approved by Health Canada. LifeQuest is one of only a handful of labs in Canada to have this important technology available to our patients.

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