Embryoscope / Time lapse imaging worth?

Hello my dearies, I need your help in making a decision whether to go for embryoscope or not. This is my first IVF cycle and is funded by NHS. I have been informed about the embryoscope at my fertility clinic but is not part of NHS funding so have to give it from my pocket. It will cost me £775 so was just wondering is it worth going for it?

21 Replies

  • I guess the only answer would be it's entirely up to you, would you regret not having it? My view was if the ivf doesn't work will I have wished we had just had that or would I have been happy that we didn't. We didn't have it on our nhs funded round but chose to pay for it on our funded round as we were paying for it all anyways. I think the benefit of it being they can check the embryo development the whole time not just in snippets wen they take them out so they can see if the embryo is growing as it's supposed to & not looking normal, growing abnormal then by time the embryologist checks it again it's back to normal looking if that makes sense? Xx

  • We opted to do this but it was a fraction of the cost you have been told. We felt that we wanted to do everything we could and not think, I wish we had tried it at a later date. But it all boils down to cost really xx

  • totally agree with Laura. Sometimes an embryo can develop an abnormality which then corrects itself meaning it's not as good a grade as one which hasn't developed the abnormality. When the embryologist checks the embryos, this won't be detected, but by using an embryoscope a photo is taken (I think once every 20 mins) and will therefore detect any abnormally developing embryos. We paid £700 for it, for me it was a no brainer. It was our one and only shot at IVF and wanted to give it our all. I sadly miscarried at 9 wks but don't regret my decision. Good luck with whatever you decide and your forthcoming cycle xx

  • I used it, and I'd highly recommend. I remember listening to a Radio 4 programme a few years ago on the benefits, before I did IVF and the scientist gave such a compelling case for using it, that I remember thinking I'd only have IVF at a clinic that offered it, few clinics had it then. There are a few good articles out there. I think its really one of the only IVF add ons that is truly worth it.

    I have a baby as a result. I also used embryo glue but was advised against embryo scratch - so i dont think Oxford were selling add ons for the sake of it. I was given v low chances of IVF working, as have terrible stage 4 endo with bilateral endometrioma and surgeries as a consequence. I do think it worked partly due to this add on. Worth every penny.

    This is an old article from 2013, in the early days of embryoscope. It enables the embryologists to choose the best embryos, using detailed time lapse photography, and protects the embryos because they no longer need to take the embryo out of the incubator.


    That cost is similar to what I paid.

    Massive huge lots of luck to you xx

  • I never had it on last 4 rounds of ivf but my Donor egg round in Greece they use it as standard for all with no extra cost.. I got 4 fab blastocysts.. 2 put in and currently 23 weeks pregnant... So I think it helped.... Good luck whatever you choose xxxx

  • Ovum, in Athens xx

  • I had two failed ivf attempts on the NHS, both times I didn't have the embryoscope, but now I'm potentially looking at going private at a different clinic and they offer it with the IVF package so it's already built into the price. However, if I stayed with my old clinic, they said it would cost £800 extra.

    Like everyone else said, there are two benefits.....

    1. The embryos are never taken out of the incubator so they never have a drastic change in temperature

    2. They monitor the embryos more closely to catch any abnormalities which may not show up if they check them less frequently, so potentially on Day 5, if they saw a "perfect" embryo, there maybe a chance it actually had an abnormal growth pattern so may not be the best embryo to transfer; even though it looks perfect on Day 5.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!!!!! 🍀 x

  • We had it on our first round, our fresh round, we paid for it as it wasn't included in our NHS funding. It cost well over £500 (probably closer to 6) so very expensive for us. We ended up with 5 top quality blastocysts. We decided to throw everything we had at it. No regrets xx

  • We got this funded with the NHS cycle we had. It's so unfair that it varies so much between places. All fertilised eggs to blastocyst stage without them having to be disturbed.

  • My clinic are very against using "add ons" and have included time lapse free in the cost of IVF cycle- they only use anything that has credible evidence to suggest it makes a difference-so if you can afford then I'd definitely do it. Good luck with your IVF cycle xoxo

  • Hi, I self funded with access fertility and time lapsing imaging was included in my treatment package. The way I understand it is that it helps the embryologists to chose the best embryos as photos are taken every few minutes without disturbing the embryo. They can then select the best ones that have the most potential during development to transfer/freeze. It means that there is closed incubation so they are kept in optimum environment. We also got a video of our little emby once it had been transferred. Good luck xxx

  • I would say no. I went to a seminar about add ons and this is one that they say to avoid.

  • Thanks for your reply love. Can you please elaborate that why they said it be avoided? Really curious

  • Avoid in the sense if they are asking you to pay for it. If its included then that's fine. It seems as if you've decided to go for it so all the best.

  • Thanks my lovely ladies, you all have really helped in making my decision, I would definitely go for it. Baby dust to you all. xoxo

  • I think it's interesting that so many people who have replied to this and have used it have had positive results.

    Remember it's only been available since 2013, so not a huge amount of stats yet and the negative article shared below is mainly concerned about the immune suppressant add ons, because they have a health impact to the patient, which is understandable.

    Time lapse photography was only mentioned, and because Embryoscope was only started in 2013, clinics have only got it in the last 2 or so years (it's a very very expensive piece of kit for the clinic to purchase, hence the cost).

    I had my IVF through my leading UK endometriosis and reproductive gynaecological surgeon at Oxford, he is a scientist and surgeon and never tried to sell me any of the add ons, I chose this myself.

    I think it's right to consider all the options and weigh up the positives and any known negatives.

    Keep us updated xxx

  • Hi I am a bit confused about this article as it does not say anything negative about how time lapsing works? What was the reason behind you being told to avoid it if you don't mind me asking?

  • There's not anything negative about it, it's just that there's not much scientific evidence that it would make a difference if you didn't use it.

  • The only thing I would think about is would you be prepared to abandon your cycle if you didn't get a top quality blastocyst? If so then I would go for it, if not then I'd think twice. It's been very odd knowing my blastocyst is poor as I'm in a weird limbo, but I didn't want to walk away without giving it a go, but equally I see the argument of why push it further if it won't work?! Sorry probably not helpful at all!!! Good luck and baby dust!! 🍀🍀🍀xxxxx

  • We are about to have our first NHS funded round and embryoscope is not included. I've asked if we can pay the difference (about £700) and we've been told no which absolutely baffles me!

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