IVF can be stressful and costly, with minimal chance of success. But a new method of checking on embryos, developed by scientists at Newcastle Fertility Centre, is said to improve the chance of pregnancy by more than a quarter - at 27%.
The technique means delicate embryos no longer have to be removed from incubators to check on their progress, which can be harmful. Tests showed that it produced a minimum 27% increase in clinical pregnancy rates. Patients had a 45% chance of getting pregnant, compared with a 35% success rate under the old system.
Professor Mary Herbert, who led the research team at Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life, said: "Our aim was to keep eggs and embryos in conditions similar to those they would experience naturally - inside a woman's body.
"This led our team to design and develop a system in which it is possible to perform all of the technical procedures while maintaining stable conditions throughout the IVF process."