A blastocyst is an embryo that is developed after 5-6 days from the day of fertilization, that is the fusion of the egg and sperm. This is an advanced stage of embryo development , allowing the embryos to develop to blastocyst stage gives us the opportunity for better embryo selection and in turn higher pregnancy rates. An embryo has to develop to the blastocyst stage in order to stick or implant in the uterus. Embryos are grown to blastocyst stage in the laboratory, in the process of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
This is normally used together with IVF and ICSI to increase the chances of pregnancy.
In normal IVF procedure, transfer of the fertilized eggs or embryos to the uterus usually happens after 2-3 days after insemination. However, in a blastocyst transfer, the embryo is allowed to develop for 5-6 days. As a result, the embryo develops to a more advanced stage with more number of cells and a differentiated cell line.
During the process of IVF, most clinics will develop embryos only till Day 2 or Day 3 of the embryo development cycle, As the embryo growth until that stage is less demanding. It is important to understand the percentages of development : 96% of fertilized eggs will go on to develop Cleavage stage embryos (Day 2 or Day 3) but only 50% of cleavage stage embryos will go on to develop a blastocyst. With Blastocyst the number of embryos formed will be lesser but we are assured that they are of good quality. Research has shown that blastocyst have lower aneuploidy (abnormality) rate.
One of the biggest advantages of using a blastocyst is that it helps in improving embryo selection, which in turn improves the chances of implantation and pregnancy.
Like everything blastocyst transfer has its advantages and disadvantages :
Couples who have had repeated unsuccessful IVF cycles due to implantation failure might consider a blastocyst transfer as this will give them more information as to why their cycle is failing.
Through blastocyst transfer, we can study an embryo for a longer period of time. During this time, we may discover problems in the embryo, especially in cases of embryo arrest or high fragmentation.
A blastocyst transfer can also be helpful in situations when the patient only wishes to transfer a single embryo. With blastocyst transfer we are assured that the best embryo is selected thereby increasing the chances of pregnancy even with a single embryo. More and more people are now opting for single embryo transfer (SET) as a personal choice, completion of family or to reduce the risk of multiple pregnancy.
Two main benefits of developing embryos upto blastocyst stage:
The embryo may not progress up to the blastocyst stage, and there might not be a transfer.
Most clinicians and embryologists will advise their patients that even if the embryo does not progress to the blastocyst stage, waiting till then is not a bad thing as doing this would enable the lab to investigate the reason for non-conception by the patient with greater clarity. It will also help in providing more information to improve the subsequent IVF cycles.
A good fertility clinic will transfer a maximum of two blastocyst, as it is not important not only to impregnate a woman but also to ensure that she has a safe and healthy nine months of pregnancy. In an IVF cycle if the couple has surplus embryos it is advised to freeze them for a subsequent cycles 1) In case this cycle fails or 2) For sibling baby. Embryos are frozen 1) if surplus 2) The uterine lining is not sufficient for embryo transfer 3) The progesterone values are higher and hence not favourable for an embryo transfer.
Frozen embryo transfer (FET) yields similar results as fresh embryo. Also, medical science has advanced and it is proved that the survival rates after thawing are almost 100. Our team of embryologists have been trained for this process from IVI Spain who are pioneers for this technique.
Archish IVF is one of the most reputable fertility center in Bangalore We provide blastocyst transfer with IVF treatment to patients from India and the rest of the world. Our team consists of seasoned fertility experts who provide counseling, diagnosis and treatments to couples and single mothers who are struggling to have a child.
For more information about treatment and cost, please get in touch with us today.