Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver has become the first clinic in North America to offer new in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology that may increase chances of getting pregnant. This new technology, Early Embryo Viability Assessment (Eeva) uses time-lapse imaging to monitor the development of cell division in fertilized eggs and provide information that could better aid IVF clinicians in predicting the success of pregnancy.

IVF involves the fertilization of an egg by sperm outside of the body. Once the egg is fertilized it is transferred into the uterus and embryo maturation takes place. The Eeva test analyzes time-lapse images taken every five minutes within the first few days of critical growth and measures them against natural embryonic biomarkers.

By comparing the rate and quality of cell growth with the parameters of known cell growth, IVF clinicians can better predict blastocyst formation, a cluster of cells essential to embryonic development. Therefore, better predicting embryo viability and treatment paths.

The science behind Eeva was first researched at Stanford University and developed for clinical use by Auxogyn Inc., a reproductive health company. A recent study by medical professionals have noted that the use of Eeva was able to distinguish blastocyst formation with an accuracy of 85 per cent compared to an accuracy of 57 per cent using traditional morphology technology alone. Since Eeva’s introduction in the UK between October 2012 and July 2013 44 per cent of 86 patients using Eeva have reached the stage of clinical pregnancy. Compared to 37 per cent of 286 patients not using Eeva.

Currently, studies urge larger sample sizes, greater randomized controlled trials and further research into the efficacy of time-lapse measurement and technology to appropriately articulate the benefits of this new technology.

IVF at the Genesis Fertility Centre costs approximately $6,000 to $8,000 with an additional cost of medication ranging from $3,000 to $6,000. With Eeva testing priced at $1,500. The test in non-invasive, meaning no biopsies, or physical and chemical manipulation occurs.