Learn more blastocyst transfer
For many of those undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), blastocyst transfer has led to safer, more effective treatment. The human embryo enters the blastocyst stage five to six days after fertilization. At this time, the embryo has 70 to 100 cells. During IVF treatment, the transfer of the embryo at the blastocyst stage offers many advantages. For example, it can increase pregnancy rates and virtually eliminate the likelihood of dangerous multiple births (like triplets and quadruplets).
How blastocyst transfer works
During IVF treatment with blastocyst transfer, one of our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility doctors retrieve the unfertilized eggs (oocytes) from the ovary. Our embryologists then fertilize the eggs in our state-of-the-art IVF lab. Instead of transferring the resulting embryo after three days, the embryo progresses to the blastocyst stage. During unassisted fertilization, the embryo must reach the blastocyst stage to attach to the uterine wall. During blastocyst transfer in IVF, the embryo implants in the uterus at this same stage of development. Some consider this to be a more natural implantation method.
The embryo selection process works
Because the embryos can progress to the blastocyst stage before implantation, our embryologists can select the embryos most likely to result in pregnancy. Before the blastocyst embryo transfer, it is normal for a number of embryos to stop growing. Certain embryos have greater development potential than others.
While not every embryo that reaches the blastocyst stage continues to grow, the likelihood it will do so greatly increases. By waiting to see which embryos have the ability to reach the blastocyst stage, and applying other embryo selection criteria, there is a greater chance of success.
Reducing the likelihood of multiple births
Some doctors transfer multiple embryos to the uterus. Because not all embryos will grow to maturity, transferring multiple embryos helps increase the pregnancy rate for IVF. However, if multiple embryos continue to grow, potentially dangerous multiple births can result. During IVF with blastocyst embryo transfer, we can see which embryos grow past the blastocyst stage before they are transferred to the uterus. This means when one embryo is transferred, which is the protocol we follow, it provides the safest way to achieve a pregnancy.
Contact our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility doctors to learn more about the fertility treatments that can help you conceive a healthy baby.