A new device is helping doctors deal with especially challenging issues of infertility.
It allows doctors to monitor an embryo's growth, almost minute by minute. And in doing so, help them select the best candidates for successful invitro fertilization.
Ed and Caroline Marks fell in love and hoped for children.
Genetic testing showed Ed had a chromosomal defect that makes conception difficult.
Two rounds of IVF ( in vitro fertilization) did not succeed either. That??s when they became candidates for something new in the world of reproductive science.
It's called an Embryoscope. It??s not a magic bullet, but it is a high tech incubator and time lapse camera that captures the beginning of life.
Dr. Nina Desai, of the Cleveland Clinic explains, "Imagine you're able to see every minute of the embryo's development even before it's transferred to the uterus, before it implants on the uterine wall you're able to see this embryo. It??s never been possible before."
Traditionally, Doctor Desai takes an embryo out of the incubator once a day to look at it under a microscope. but a lot can happen that she'd miss.
The Embryoscope keeps the embryos in a safe and stable environment and tracks every second.
That gives doctors an even better chance to catch even the most subtle changes.
Dr. Desai continues, ??It's a wealth of information we're learning so much that we hadn't realized happens to an embryo as it grows so we are just blown away by this, it's an amazing, amazing technology."
When pointed out, the ones that were growing well were definitely different from ones that were sort of stuck."
The Embryoscope helped Doctor Desai determine which of Caroline??s embryos were the best to choose. Five were deemed unsuitable. Another five were frozen. Two were near perfect. Those were implanted and one of them took, and then split into twin girls."
Dr. Desai thinks this will revolutionize the way we practice embryology. "
Ed and Caroline as now spending their days getting ready for life as parents. Their twin girls are due this winter.
They??ll have a very special video to show their girls of their first six days of life.