What is time-lapse imaging?
In IVF, time-lapse imaging is used to try and help select the embryos most likely to develop into a baby.
Time-lapse imaging allows the embryologist to take thousands of images of the embryos as they grow without disturbing them. Not only does this mean the embryos do not have to be removed from the incubator, it also allows the embryologist to get a continuous view of each embryo as it develops, rather than just viewing them once a day. The embryologist can then choose a specific embryo for implantation based on criteria such as rate of development and the number and appearance of cells.
Risks of time-lapse imaging
No, there are no known risks to the woman or her embryos from time-lapse imaging.
Several RCTs have been published regarding time-lapse imaging. A meta-analysis in 2017 looked at 5 RCT’s that compared time-lapse imaging with standard morphology assessments. TLI was associated with a significantly higher clinical pregnancy rate and live birth rate however the quality of the studies were rated as moderate to low. A pilot RCT looking at embryo transfer at day 3, 5 and conventional morphology showed no difference in clinical pregnancy rate or ongoing pregnancy rate in the three arms.
Current HFEA grading
For more information, please visit the HFEA website