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Blastocyst Culture

Blastocyst Culture

Blastocyst Culture

Blastocyst culture and day 5 embryo transfer for in vitro fertilization allows selection of the best quality embryos for transfer.

Embryo quality is important with infertility.

With blastocyst transfer, we transfer fewer embryos – reducing multiple pregnancy risks, and maintain high IVF success rates.

Definition of a blastocyst

  • An embryo that has developed for five to seven days after fertilization and has 2 distinct cell types and a central cavity filled with fluid (blastocoel cavity).
  • The cells in a blastocyst have just started to differentiate.
  • The surface cells that surround the cavity (just under the outer shell) are called the trophectoderm and will later develop into the placenta.
  • A more centrally located group of cells – the inner cell mass, will become the fetus.

Blastocyst development

The most commonly used indications for assisted hatching with an in vitro fertilization case are:

  • The blastocyst usually forms on day 5 as fluid builds within the compacted morula.
  • A healthy blastocyst often begins hatching from its outer shell, called the zona pellucida between days 5 to day 7 after fertilization.
  • Within 24 hours after hatching, embryo implantation after IVF (or a “natural” pregnancy) begins as the embryo invades into the uterine lining.
  • The blastocyst releases HCG hormone (the pregnancy test hormone) which leaks into the mother’s blood as the embryo implants.