DENVER -- A breakthrough in medical technology could help women trying to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization.
A clinic in Colorado is one of only a handful in the US with the new device.
Scientists are calling this a "game changer" for in vitro fertilization, saying it could dramatically increase a woman's odds of getting pregnant with IVF.
Jolene Richardson and her husband were trying to get pregnant for almost a year and she says, “We just knew something wasn’t right.”
So the couple came to the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine for in vitro fertilization. But, like millions of women - she was up against the odds.
The average success rate for IVF in women under 35 is just 30-35 percent.
But four years and two children later CCRM had such an impact on Jolene’s life, she now works there, and sees the latest advances in medical technology.
Jolene says, “Now I hear, every day about all these different things, this machine.”
The machine she is talking about is the 'Embryoscope system' - the latest technology, scientists say, could dramatically boost the success rates of IVF.
The Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine in Lone Tree is one of only 15 clinics across the US with the EmbryoScope system.
Dr. William Schoolcraft says, “It is exciting. It’s completely non-invasive; you’re not disturbing the embryo.”
It works like time lapse photography. Doctors culture embryos in the petri dish, the device takes pictures of the embryo every few minutes during the first hours of development, then puts the pictures together to create an evolving image. It gives doctors insight on that critical time.
Scientists say that information is the key to determining which embryos are healthiest and most likely to implant successfully.
Schoolcraft says, “You can really have it both ways, high chance of a baby, not have to worry about multiples and possibly even lower the chance that the baby might have a genetic abnormality such as downs syndrome.” CCRM’S Dr. William Schoolcraft says while still in its early stages, the technique offers the promise of better odds for people facing what Jolene did years ago.
Jolene Richardson calls it incredible. “I mean anything that you can do to increase the odds of this whole process is great.”
Dr. Schoolcraft says while this technique will help, there is still a lot of research to be done. But if the research continues to go as well as it has, all fertility clinics will want to get their hands on this technology.