Blastocyst Culture and Transfer- Embryo Transfer Technology

Blastocyst Culture and Transfer

Embryos are usually transferred to the womb on the second or third day after egg collection in many IVF programmes. Because of the recent advances in development of new culture media, embryo can now be cultured in the laboratory to the fifth day after egg collection when the embryo develops to a stage known as blastocyst.

The transfer of blastocyst to the womb has a number of advantages including:
(a) reduction in the number of embryos to be replaced, thus reducing the risk of multiple pregnancy;
(b) the chance to select better embryos for transfer and
(c) better co-ordination between the embryos and the lining of the womb.

The key concern with the blastocyst transfer is that only about half of the fertilized eggs will develop into blastocysts and variations in the ability to produce blastocysts among patients is remarkable.
That means some patients may not have any blastocyst for transfer. Other concerns include the potential reduction in the number of embryos available for freezing and an increase in monozygotic twinning. It is suggested that the principal indication for blastocyst transfer is the reduction in the risk of multiple pregnancies; all other indications such as advanced maternal age, poor ovarian reserve, repeated IVF failures are not sound. Therefore, it is too early to recommend blastocyst transfer as the preferred approach at this moment.

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