A new technique that listens to tiny “heartbeats” inside fertilised eggs could help doctors predict which ones are most likely to result in a healthy baby.
The technique is currently used on mice eggs but scientists from Cardiff University hope to transfer the procedure to humans, after discovering for the first time that similar movements are made by human embryos.
The team hopes this would enable doctors to pick the strongest eggs, reducing the chances of a failed IVF cycle.
Professor Karl Swann, from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, explained that pulses occurred in the eggs around 10-minute intervals.
“There is still a great deal of additional research to confirm whether these movements directly correlate with positive pregnancy,” added Professor Karl. “But this technique holds the promise of predicting the best embryo for IVF, which should help cut down multiple pregnancies that often occur during IVF treatment as a result of transferring several embryos at a time.”