15% increase in pregnancy rates thanks to WPH grant for embryoscope.

Research resulting in improved pregnancy success rates for infertile couples have taken The University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) towards the top of assisted conception success rates in the UK, thanks to a grant from local healthcare charity the WPH Charitable Trust.

The grant for £60,000 allowed the University of Warwick to buy the Centre for Reproductive Medicine at UHCW an embryoscope to research the reasons for infertility, particularly failure of embryos to implant into the uterus. As a result clinical scientists are able to select the most viable early embryos for implantation resulting in a 15% increase in pregnancy rates.

The embryoscope, allows non-invasive scanning of human embryos during their first weeks of development, and has proved to be so successful that the NHS decided to give the go-ahead to a second purchase.

The embryoscope uses time-lapse technology to enable the reproduction specialists to check the very early stages of embryo formation, and within just a few days, be able to select the healthiest for implantation into the uterus, resulting in more successful pregnancies.

The Scientific Director of the Centre for Reproductive Medicine at the hospital – Professor Geraldine Hartshorne – explains that the embryoscope allows insights into the specific development process of each embryo, which in turn permits better decisions about how future IVF treatments can be managed.

“Now we have these embryoscopes, we have found a whole range of additional benefits for our work. Automated analysis is on the cards… Better clinical trials, laboratory studies and other forms of research have all led to greater understanding about how best to help infertile couples conceive.”

“We can also present our new parents with pictures of their embryos at a few days old - the very earliest stages of life. Who knows how many 18th birthday parties, or future wedding days will feature our work in years to come?”


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