Couples struggling to conceive given new hope
COUPLES struggling to conceive have been given fresh hope in a Gold Coast first with the introduction of groundbreaking IVF technology.
A state of the art automated lab at Short Street Day Surgery in Southport could help women who have experienced repeated IVF failure conceive a much longed for child.
Monash IVF is the first Gold Coast clinic to trial the equipment providing 24 hour time-lapse videos to assess embryos around the clock.
The high definition image technology will be used for embryo culture and will increase embryo monitoring time by over 100,000 per cent, increasing couples chances of cultivating healthy embryos and successful pregnancies.
The time-lapse machine combines an incubator, a microscope, a high resolution camera and computer software which captures focused images automatically and continuously removing the need for embryos to be disturbed.
Senior Monash IVF Specialist Dr Kee Ong said embryos were usually removed from the incubator two days after fertilisation and then again after five days for observation under a microscope.
"Up until now, we've had no way of knowing how an embryo is progressing in between," he said.
"We can now analyse more than 7200 minutes of an embryo's development during the first five days compared with the standard 6-10 minutes.
"Each machine is capable of incubating 240 embryos at a time, which means it can be used to assist up to 15 women simultaneously.
"What we know for sure is the less an embryo is handled the better.
"We can now take a picture every 10 minutes, quickly identify embryos that are developing abnormally as well as the strongest embryo most likely to establish a pregnancy.
"This is a journey that can take a severe emotional and financial toll on patients. We aim to achieve pregnancy in the shortest possible time frame and increased ability to choose the best embryo will get us there even quicker.
"Right now, we're trailing the technology and gathering data to determine its full potential."
Dr Ong said faster more accurate results leading to faster decision making for clinicians about treatment options is incredible news for every woman undergoing IVF.
"This technology is most beneficial though for women who have experienced repeated IVF failure after embryo transfer; women whose embryos have failed to develop or those who have experienced repeated miscarriage and for women over 35 years of age," he said.
"The time-lapse technology provides us with a depth of information about embryo quality that simply wasn't available before and we're excited by the fresh hope we can now offer to women and couples struggling to conceive."
Dr Ong said the clinic could now reduce handling, increase monitoring, allow for better embryo selection and potentially provide patients with the very first video of their miracle baby.
"It's an exciting moment for reproductive medicine here on the Gold Coast," he said.