It is a technique to grow embryos beyond the 3rd day of culture. When the embryos are cultured for 5 days, they become blastocyst which contains 120 cells & it is ready to implant directly in the uterus
Why is Blastocyst culture not done routinely for all patients?
- In 20-30% of patients, none of the embryos develop into blastocyst in culture. In these patients, there would be no viable embryo, available for embryo transfer.
- No one does not know whether there would be long term adverse effects in exposing embryos for 5 days to the environment but there has been no increase in abnormalities in blastocyst babies as compared to embryo transfer babies.
Who would qualify for Blastocyst Culture?
Patients who have failed to get pregnant after IVF/ICSI cycles.
What percentage of embryos will grow to the Blastocyst stage in culture?
For younger patients, up to 70% of all embryos will continue to grow to the blastocyst stage & 10% of patients will not have blastocyst development. As patients get older, only few number of embryos will develop in to blastocyst in culture.
What are the risks of blastocyst culturing?
There are two main concerns with blastocyst culture:
- Some patients may have no embryo development to blastocyst and thus lose the opportunity for a transfer.
- The Survival of embryos after thawing will be less
Are there any limitations to blastocyst culturing?
Yes, if you have less than 4 of, 8-celled quality embryos on 3rd day of culture, we do not proceed for blastocyst culturing. With blastocyst culturing, we are not able to freeze more embryos because of poor development to the blastocyst stage. Also, there is identical twinning & conjoint twinning risk more with blastocyst culture.
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