In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Step by step part 6

Typically, embryos are transferred at the cleavage stage (day 3 after oocyte retrieval) or at the blastocyst stage (day 5). In the lab, a grading system is used to assess the quality of the embryos.

Day 3 transfers:

Day three embryos are called cleavage stage embryos and have approximately 4-8 cells. When analyzing these embryos, we not only look at the number of cells but also how symmetrical they are whether there is any fragmentation. Fragmentation occurs when the cells divide unevenly, resulting in cell-like structures which crowd the embryo. No fragmentation is preferable but some is acceptable.

Day 5  transfers:

Day 5 embryos are called blastocyst embryos. At this stage, the embryos have increased in size and are even more developed. They resemble a ball of cells with fluid inside. One of the things we look for at this stage is how expanded these embryos are. The more expanded, the better the quality of the embryo. These embryos are also classified by a number scale, 1 through 6. Grade 6 represents the best quality blastocyst

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