The eggs and sperm (from the spouse or a donor) are combined in the IVF lab after the egg retrieval operation so that fertilisation can take place. The newly formed embryos must be housed in an incubator, which provides a safe environment. A specific kind of time-lapse incubator called an embryoscope provides the optimum environmental conditions for embryos to develop outside of the body. The embryos remain in the incubator for the entire 5-7 day incubation period when using the Embryoscope.
Every 10 minutes or so, the Embryoscope will snap an image of the embryo. Then, a little time lapse movie is created by connecting these photographs. This enables an embryologist to continuously track each embryo’s cell divisions and development while the embryo is still secure in the incubator.