Nightly News   |  May 17, 2013

New IVF technology offers dramatic results

The EmbryoScope is helping doctors best determine which embryos offer the best chance at becoming healthy babies, and new research indicates this process could raise live birthrates by 50 percent or more. NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports.

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>>> in medical news tonight what could be a dramatic breakthrough for ivf, in vitro fertilization which helps couples struggling with infertility every year in this country. we brought you the story of the technical teque in february. now just how effective it can be in the real world . our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman has our report.

>> reporter: for ed and caroline marx, getting pregnant wasn't as easy as they had hoped.

>> we knew we wanted to settle town in the midwest and raise a family.

>> reporter: they turned to this cleveland clinic for in vitro fertilization. they were among the first to use an embyoscope that allows technicians to monitor around the clock.

>> there is a lot going on behind the scenes . if you had a single static observation per day you would miss it.

>> reporter: it takes constant high resolution pictures for almost a real-time look at the cells as they divide and grow allowing doctors to see which embryoses may have the best chance of becoming healthy babies. today's news from a clinic in england might bring more hope to familieses trying to have children. the study says it is new imaging technique used could raise live birthrates by 50% or more by taking thousands of digital pictures from the moment of fertilization to the day the embryos are implanted.

>> it's extraordinarily significant. we have an objective tool to allow us to find the embryo with the highest potential for live birth .

>> reporter: the technique, while called a breakthrough by some, is not performed by most clinics in the united states . it will likely soon become the gold standard for in vitro fertilization. dr. nancy snyderman , nbc news, new york.