Blastocyst Transfer

What is a blastocyst transfer?

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

Based on the pioneering work of our scientific director, Professor David Gardner, growing embryos to the blastocyst stage transformed the way IVF was performed throughout the world. The Gardner Grading System for embryos remains the international standard.

Professor Gardner’s ongoing research continues to improve the culture, monitoring and selection of embryos therefore we continue to see an increase in our success rates reducing the time needed to achieve a healthy baby.

Professor David Gardner is the Scientific Director at Melbourne IVF.

How do we culture embryos?

Embryos can be grown in the laboratory for up to five or six days following fertilisation, and then are transferred back to the woman's uterus at the blastocyst stage

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.

To find out about Advanced Embryo Culture at Melbourne IVF, please call us on 1800 111 483 or complete the form below.