As implantation rates increased with advancements in both clinical and laboratory technology, the incidence of multiple gestation also increased. Extending the growth period of the embryos in culture (from days 2 or 3 to day 5) provided an additional power of selection for embryo transfer, as not all embryos possess the same capacity for growth. Embryos that continue to cleave appropriately during the extended culture period (days 4 and 5) have overcome a major hurdle in early preimplantation development and are considered inherently heartier than the remaining cohort which failed to progress.
We offer blastocyst culture to reduce the number of embryos transferred in any one cycle. Our goal is to reduce the chance of multiple gestation, which puts the pregnancy at a higher risk for loss, premature labor and pregnancy complications. As the blastocyst stage is more developmentally competent and physiologically appropriate for the uterine environment at this point of the cycle, it stands to reason that the implantation potential is greater.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss blastocyst transfer should any questions arise.