In all IVF procedures, all embryos were transferred around 2 to 3 days after fertilisation, when they reached the 4 to 8 cell stage. Recent developments mean they can now be grown in the lab for a little longer and allow them to reach the blastocyst stage at which point they have around 100 cells (5 to 6 days after fertilisation). By extending the number of days that the embryos are observed in the lab we have a greater chance of selecting the embryo with the best potential for pregnancy.
You're likely to benefit from this treatment if you have a large number of embryos. That's because not all embryos have the ability to form a blastocyst, and the number of embryos progressing each day may decrease.
Blastocyst culture allows the most advanced/competent embryo(s) to be selected for transfer on the fifth day following egg collection. Our results indicate that with five or more embryos on day one after egg collection, there's an improved pregnancy rate using extended culture compared to using day two or three transfers.
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