The Leicester Fertility Centre situated within its own purpose built unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary, has received a new state-of-the-art Embryo Monitoring System with Time-lapse Image Capture.

The team of 20 specialists in the Leicester Fertility Centre (LFC) offer fertility services to over 500 NHS and private patients a year using in vitro fertilisation (IVF), Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), surgical retrieval of sperm, egg donation, egg sharing, donor insemination (DI), intrauterine insemination (IUI) and gamete freezing (sperm, eggs and embryos). Additionally, the team analyses over 2,000 semen specimens every year and work closely with the clinical genetics team to research conditions related to fertility and family genetics.

The new bench top Embryo Monitoring System, known as Geri ®, uses time lapse imaging technology by providing a controlled incubator environment whilst continually monitoring the embryos by recording images at 5-10 minute intervals. This eliminates the need to remove the embryos from the incubator and enables the developmental patterns of the embryos to be closely monitored by the team.

Jane Blower, consultant embryologist at the LFC, explains: “This new system is a major advance in embryo culture which has proven to directly benefit our patients by increasing pregnancy rates, giving more couples the news they have been waiting to hear. The system is also able to identify abnormalities that would not normally be observed using standard observation; events that are rarely seen with conventional microscopy can be revealed in minutes.”

The team have already been working with one Embryo Monitoring System with Time-lapse Image Capture for the past 12 months, which is on loan from Merck, and pregnancy rates have already increased by up to 20% as a result. The addtion of a second system will improve pregnancy rates further  to offer the best chance of conception for all patients accessing the service in Leicester.

Jane continues: “The prospect of facing any kind of infertility can be very distressing and many people believe that no-one else really understands what it feels like to go through this. 80% of UK units have some form of time lapse technology so this is critical for us to offer our patients the best possible chance of conception.”

This is a press release from University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) and to read the full article, please go to:

Within the next five years, the LFC looks to become a department of reproductive medicine to offer a streamlined, one stop approach for reproductive medicine, reducing costs and the number of outpatient appointments.

And because of all the value this technology offers, the A.C.O.R.N Appeal – a Leicester Hospitals Charity and Leicester Fertility Centre fundraising appeal – is currently raising £60,000 for the system so the unit can continue to provide the best possible care, and give the best possible chances, to those who come to them for help.

To help the Appeal, the fertility team are selling luxury Christmas puddings and raffle tickets for luxury Christmas hampers.

Charlene Freeman, embryologist at the LFC, explains: “The charity puddings are made by the same people who make the ones for Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Masons. We have five flavours available; plum, lemon, triple chocolate, sticky toffee and triple ginger; they are truly delicious!”

Individual puddings are available for £2.50 each or larger ones (serves four) are available for £5 each. The team are visiting each of Leicester’s Hospitals sites to sell the puddings as well as raffle tickets for the luxury Christmas food hamper and ‘pamper’ hamper.

To find out where and when to purchase a pudding, please contact the fertility team on 0116 258 5944.

For further information about the A.C.O.R.N. Appeal to make a donation, please visit