Picture Perfect at MFS

Issue Date: 21 November 2013

Midland Fertility Services (MFS) has introduced a service to improve the chances of IVF patients having babies, by capturing thousands of pictures of patients’ embryos even before any pregnancy occurs.

The clinic has invested in two EmbryoScopeTM incubators with built-in cameras, which allow all the details of embryo development to be seen as a time-lapse movie.  This enables the embryologist to identify embryos with abnormal development patterns and then select embryos which have more chance of resulting in a birth.

Su Barlow, laboratory director at MFS, with the EmbryoScopeTM which revolutionises how embryos are selected during IVF treatment

Aldridge-based MFS is one of only two fertility clinics in the West Midlands to introduce the service.

Embryo quality can be one of the reasons why IVF doesn’t work for some treatment cycles.  Results from clinics already using EmbryoScopeTM show an improvement in pregnancy rates and a fall in the number of early miscarriages.  The ultimate aim is to increase the number of babies born following IVF treatment at MFS.

Worldwide, the usual method of monitoring and selecting embryos relies on removing them from the incubator environment at specific time-points and assessing their development under a microscope.  These checks are kept to a minimum to reduce disturbance, but at a frequency which enables the embryologist to observe progress, allowing up to six images of development over five days.  Instead, the EmbryoScopeTM provides more than 5,000 images in five days, during 24 hour monitoring of the fertilisation process and embryo growth – and all within perfect incubator conditions.  The patients get to keep many of these images.

Su Barlow, laboratory director of MFS, said: “The introduction of EmbryoScopeTM is a significant milestone in the history of IVF treatment.  This new equipment revolutionises how an embryologist selects embryos for transfer.

“Reducing the number of failed treatment cycles and early miscarriages will improve the IVF experience for many of our patients.  We look forward to many more babies being born after treatment at MFS as a result of EmbryoScopeTM incubation and time-lapse imaging.”

MFS treats both privately- and NHS-funded patients and the EmbryoScopeTM service is available to all patients for an additional fee of £400.  MFS will continue to monitor the demand for time-lapse embryo incubation and imaging and is prepared to invest in additional equipment as required.

To book EmbryoSope as part of your treatment, talk to your MFS nurse or doctor, or call 01922 455911.


Editor Notes

MFS was established in 1987 and is licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to offer a range of fertility treatments and procedures including IVF, ICSI, egg donation, egg and embryo freezing and sperm recovery.  In May 2002 the UK’s first ‘frozen egg’ baby was born following treatment at MFS.  In September 2005, the UK’s first twins were born from ‘frozen eggs’ fertility treatment at MFS, followed by the first ‘frozen egg’ boy in December 2005.  In April 2006 the clinic’s first twins were born following the mother’s treatment with Vi4gr4 as part of her fertility treatment at MFS.  In early 2008, the 4,000th baby was born after treatment at MFS and the clinic celebrated its 21st anniversary.  The clinic’s and the UK’s first two vitrified egg babies were born in December 2010 and January 2011. In 2012 MFS marked 25 years of ‘making babies’ and ‘MFS Baby 5,500’ was born in October 2012.  Based in Aldridge, West Midlands, MFS treats both private and NHS patients.

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