IVF Success Rates for Blastocyst Transfer | Melbourne IVF

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Blastocyst Transfers

What is a blastocyst transfer?

Blastocyst stage transfer (advanced embryo culture) involves extending the culture period of IVF embryos for five to six days in the laboratory before transfer back to the woman’s uterus.

By observing the embryos for longer in an advanced culture system, we are more likely to identify the embryo(s) with greater implantation potential and therefore improve pregnancy rates.

How do we culture embryos?

Embryos can be grown in the laboratory for up to five or six days following fertilisation, and are normally transferred back to the women’s uterus on either day two or three (cleavage stage) or day five or six (blastocyst stage).

Whether your embryo transfer takes place at cleavage or the blastocyst stage depends on a number of factors, in particular the number of fertilised eggs (embryos) that are created in the IVF cycle.

Your Melbourne IVF fertility specialist will discuss the best option for you that is likely to give you the best chance of success, whilst minimising the need for multiple stimulated or thaw IVF cycles. In some circumstances, your treatment plan may be modified after egg collection to ensure the best possible outcome, and this will be discussed with you at the time.

Advantages of Advanced Embryo Culture

Advanced Embryo Culture (blastocyst transfer) is most suited if you have more than a few eggs fertilised in a single stimulated IVF cycle, as it allows selection of the best embryo for transfer. Overall benefits include:

  • Reduced time to pregnancy: the culture system results in fewer disturbances to the embryo and therefore embryo development is likely to be improved.
  • Embryos are returned to the uterine cavity five days after egg collection: a time closer to when hatching of the embryo and implantation occurs.
  • Additional suitable embryos vitrified: the use of vitrification (snap freezing) is now an established clinical treatment with excellent results on thawing and subsequent pregnancy rates.

Growing embryos to the blastocyst stage does not improve the quality of the embryos, instead it helps to identify which embryos may be stronger than others. Not all embryos will continue to develop in the laboratory until the blastocyst stage, and this means that there may be a limited number of embryos available for treatment.

What if Advanced Embryo Culture isn’t suitable for me?

As blastocyst transfer will not be suitable for everyone, a significant benefit of undergoing treatment with Melbourne IVF is our flexible approach to embryo culture. At Melbourne IVF you have access to our world class cleavage stage transfer program, which is an alternative method used that is responsible for more than 17,000 babies since Melbourne IVF commenced.

Cleavage transfer

Cleavage stage transfer involves transferring embryos on day two or three at the cleavage stage, when most embryos consist of between four and eight cells.

Through a technique developed at Melbourne IVF known as early syngamy assessment, this method allows us to identify the best potential embryo(s) for transfer on day two or three, and in general will allow additional embryos to be frozen for additional future treatments.

Cleavage stage transfer is most if you have fewer embryos available for treatment in a stimulated IVF cycle.

To find out about Advanced Embryo Culture at Melbourne IVF, please call our Community Liaison Administrators on 1800 111 483 or email us.

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