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Meet nation's first Eeva baby

By Jane Deacon


Darla Macey-Nicholson holds daughter Olivia, the first Canadian baby to be conceived through Eeva time-lapse in vitro technology.
JANE DEACON/24 HOURS

Darla Macey-Nicholson holds daughter Olivia, the first Canadian baby to be conceived through Eeva time-lapse in vitro technology. JANE DEACON/24 HOURS

Attempting to conceive at age 40, Darla Macey-Nicholson was “over-the-top concerned” about her ability to get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby.

While she and her husband both have children from previous marriages, they wanted a child of their own to add to their family. After trying unsuccessfully for about a year, they turned to a local fertility clinic for help.

Within the month, Macey-Nicholson learned she was pregnant.

Born in August, Olivia is the first Canadian baby conceived through Early Embryo Viability Assessment, or the Eeva Test — a time-lapse in vitro technology credited with her successful pregnancy.

“I was thrilled to have any opportunity to conceive,” said Macey Nicholson. “At 40, I was concerned, so it gave me great peace to have another option.”

Through video analysis created from a series of photos taken over hundreds of hours, the Eeva Test allows fertility specialists to assess which embryo is most likely to be successfully implanted through in vitro, said Dr. Sonya Kashyap of Vancouver’s Genesis Fertility Centre.

While embryo health is traditionally assessed through a static impression, this technology allows doctors to take things like cell development into account — which can improve pregnancy rates by up to 50%.

While similar video technologies have existed for a number of years, this is the first to interpret the data, said Kashyap.

She estimates roughly 10% of the clinic’s eligible patients have taken the Eeva route over the last year. The patented technology is still expensive, at a cost of $1,500 per cycle — in addition to the host of other costs patients incur through the in vitro process.

Typically those who have turned to this technology are difficult cases who haven’t had success with other fertility routes, said Kashyap.

 

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