In the IVF laboratory, after the egg retrieval procedure, fertilization is carried out by IVF (In-vitro fertilization) or by ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) and the resulting embryos are placed in an incubator for further development. The stages of development are as follows:
Blastocyst culture requires optimal laboratory conditions. On an average, about 45% of fertilized eggs reach the blastocyst stage. As only the embryos with the best development capacity become blastocysts, allowing embryos to grow and develop in the laboratory till they reach the blastocyst stage allows the selection of the most competent embryo/s for embryo transfer.
Blastocyst culture is advised for: For patients with multiple failed IVF: Performing a blastocyst culture on a patient with a history of failed IVF with day2/3 embryo transfer, can yield more information related to the growth of the embryos and aid in improving pregnancy rate To eliminate multiple pregnancies: Blastocyst culture allows the possibility of transferring the single best embryo and thereby reducing the chance of multiple pregnancy.
Not all clinics perform blastocyst culture. Quality control and optimal laboratory culture conditions are essential for successful blastulation.