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The time lapse-method shows the development of embryos in the incubator. Recordings of the embryos are made every 3 minutes and a film is created from them. An algorithm evaluates the images and determines which embryo is best suited for transfer. Time lapse is considered one of the most outstanding achievements in the IVF laboratory and costs the couple a lot of extra money. Unfortunately, it has not yet been proven that time lapse leads to an improvement in pregnancy or birth rates.

In the Cochrane database, there is a review article on time lapse from 2019: it confirms on the basis of eight studies and more than 2,300 patients that the method is safe and shows positive trends, but does not provide any evidence of an improvement in success rates in the sense of more live births and fewer miscarriages.

Time-lapse Systems for Embryo incubation and embryo assessment for couples undergoing in vitro fertilisation and intracytoplasmic sperm injection

Published: 29 May 2019 Cochrane Gyecology and Fertility Group

Authors' conclusions:  There is insufficient good-quality evidence of differences in live birth or ongoing pregnancy, miscarriage and stillbirth, or clinical pregnancy to choose between TLS, with or without embryo selection software, and conventional incubation. As the evidence is of low or very low-quality, our findings should be interpreted with caution.