IVF and Advanced Fertility Treatment
Blastocyst Transfer
What is it?
A blastocyst is an embryo that has developed for five to six days after fertilization. In a typical IVF cycle, fertilized eggs are returned to the uterus after two or three days of maturation. In the past, in vitro culture media could not sustain embryo growth beyond this time. Nowadays it is possible for embryos to mature in vitro for up to five days, at which point they develop into blastocysts. Only the healthiest eggs will make it to the blastocyst stage and a blastocyst must attach itself to the wall of the womb for a women to become pregnant.
How does it work?
The procedure for blastocyst transfer is similar to that for normal embryo transfer. The only difference is when it is being implanted into the womb. Unlike normal embryo transfer, the embryos are allowed to develop for five to six days before transfer.
When is it used?
Blastocyst transfer is not appropriate for all patients. Those who have produced good quality embryos in a previous IVF cycle may be recommened to proceed with it.