Embryoscope is available at CRM

The Centre for Reproductive Medicine at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust offers Embryoscope® time lapse monitoring as an optional extra to either IVF or ICSI treatment. The embryoscope provides digital images of embryos every 10 minutes for the whole time they are in the IVF laboratory, which can be up to 6 days.

This provides unprecedented detail of early embryonic development which helps clinical embryologists to choose the embryo(s) with the best chances of implantation to transfer to the patient. The recording process also means that embryos do not need to be removed from the incubator for daily monitoring, so maintaining a more stable temperature and ambient environment.

Embryoscope monitoring is a popular option that has been available at CRM for over 3 years. In our experience, the average pregnancy rate for people who choose Embryoscope is 15% higher than for those who do not choose it. Clearly how much it may benefit you will depend upon your individual circumstances, and you are invited attend an Embryoscope Clinic appointment so that this can be discussed with you.

Embryoscope monitoring is a new technology that is not available as a NICE-approved and NHS-funded treatment at the present time.

However, due to the generous support of two local charities, the WPH Charitable Foundation and our local patient-led charity, ‘Gift of a Life’, we were able to set up a service through a research clinic led by Professor Geraldine Hartshorne. The charities covered the purchase of an Embryoscope and start-up costs for the first 30 patients to use it. The service has been so successful that UHCW NHS Trust then bought another embryoscope to increase capacity.

Most of our patients opt in to the embryoscope programme. Most patients are also willing to participate in our research programmes, allowing the culture medium from around their embryos to be analysed to develop a diagnostic test of embryo potential and to help with research into embryo development and miscarriage, and allowing eggs that are otherwise unusable to be studied so that we can better understand how maternal age affects egg quality. However, participation in research is voluntary, and the embryoscope is available as an option, regardless of whether or not you choose to participate in research.

Patients wishing to use the embryoscope pay £390 to cover the running costs. The images collected are available to patients, free of charge. In addition, or as an alternative, people who would like a detailed discussion about what the embryoscope has revealed about their embryos can have a consultation with Professor Geraldine Hartshorne.

This option is available free of charge and can be particularly useful when people are considering further treatment or are awaiting a follow-up consultation with a medical consultant. Professor Hartshorne is the Scientific Director at CRM, and an international expert in human oocyte and embryo development.

If you would like to book an Embryoscope clinic appointment or an Embryoscope follow-up appointment, or have any other Embryoscope-related queries, please contact Kerri Geraghty, Secretary to the Embryoscope Clinic, on 02476 967528, kerri.geraghty@uhcw.nhs.uk