A new IVF technique which takes photos of embryos to monitor their growth could dramatically improve the sucess rate of fertilty treatment.
A new time-lapse method, which can be used to predict which embryos are most likely to lead to a live birth, has been hailed as the "most exciting development in fertility treatment in 30 years", reports The Times.
Doctors can use the new technique to identify and implant the embryo that is growing the fastest and is most likely to develop into a healthy feotus.
According to The Times fewer than 30% of IVF cycles in Briatin result in the birth of a healthy baby, and the new time-lapse imaging method could be used to screen out "high risk" embryos that are least likely to successfully implant in the womb.
Researchers claim that early trials show 78% of women having the test will have a healthy baby, which is more than three times the average sucess rate of IVF in Britain.
Simon Fishel, managing director of CARE Fertility Group, who developed the technique, said: "In the 35 years I have been in this field, this is probably the most exciting and significant development that can be of value to parents seeking IVF."
The method costs an extra £750 on top of the cost of a cycle of IVF, which usually costs around £3,500, and is unlikely to be available on the NHS.
Despite the study findings being promising, the chairman of the British Fertility Society, Dr Allan Pacey, advises larger trails of the technique are needed.
"All too often developments in IVF are trumpeted as advances when they remain unproven," he said.
Interesting stuff! Would you pay extra for the method if it could boost your chances of getting pregnant?