'Very amazing technology' - time-lapse photography helps NZ couples get pregnant

Time-lapse photography is now at the forefront of conception and human life, helping New Zealand couples get pregnant. 

The technology, often used to capture scenes of natural beauty, is now at the forefront on conception and human life. Source: 1 NEWS

The beginning of life  is now captured under the watchful eye of time-lapse morphometry imaging, photographing a single embryo up to the vital fifth day of development, to help women achieve their dream of pregnancy.

"It's very, very amazing technology," said Dr Mary Birdsall of Fertility Associates.

Auckland new parents Hollie Langarek and husband Steven suffered five years of heartbreak and four rounds of IVF in the quest for parenthood.

"We needed a lot of support around us to get through that time," said Ms Langarek.

On their final attempt, Fertility Associates suggested they try something new with the second of their last four embryos, and have it time-lapse monitored. 

It did have a 10 per cent lift in pregnancy rates along with a reduction in miscarriages - Dr Mary Birdsall of Fertility Associates

"It makes us look after embryos better. And we're also able to know which embryos are going through their really important developmental milestones at the right time," said Dr Birdsall.

By photographing the embryo every five minutes, embryologists can see how well the cells divide and grow, ensuring only the healthiest is fertilised. 

IVF lab staff normally need to remove an embryo from the incubator daily to check on its quality, but with time lapse it is left untouched. 

"I think that embryos don't like being disturbed because it stresses them." said Dr Birdsall.

But time-lapse raises the odds of success.

"The latest randomised control trial that was done in Spain suggests it did have a 10 per cent lift in pregnancy rates along with a reduction in miscarriages," said Dr Birdsall.

The Langarek's are among the first New Zealand couples to benefit, there son Oscar's the result of that.

The Government funds couples for two rounds of IVF, after this they pay privately, from $8,000 to $15,000 per round.

Time-lapse is an extra $950 cost either way and is available to all IVF couples.