IVF technique could boost number of live births by 80%

The new technique involves keeping embroyos in a super incubator  for five days after they have been created
The new technique involves keeping embroyos in a super incubator for five days after they have been created Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Fertility specialists have developed a new technique which could boost the number of live births through IVF to between 70 and 80%, that is three times the national average.

The head of the Care Fertility Group in Nottingham, Simon Fischel, has been involved in IVF work since the first test tube baby was born in 1978. He called the latest breakthough "the most significant thing to happen in the last 35 years".

The new technique involves keeping embroyos in a super incubator for five days after they have been created. During this time, as they develop, thousands of digital images are taken of them every ten minutes.

After five days, technicians can look at the images and can see which ones have developed well, and are likely to result in a live, healthy baby.

They're ranked as "low" , "medium", or "high" risk, which means the team can make sure that only low risk embryos are implanted into the womb.

The technique is not available on the NHS, but that could change if other clinics adopt the technology.