When you are trying to have a baby using IVF treatment, it is possible that the embryo that has been selected could have a defect. This can lead to congenital disabilities in the child. IVF also has chances of multiple pregnancies. Blastocyst culture can help avoid these situations.
In this article, Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, from Babies & Us IVF Centre in Mumbai, discusses blastocyst culture and transfer.
What is Blastocyst and Blastocyst Culture?
A blastocyst is a group of cells dividing in a fertilized egg. It’s the early stages of an embryo. It is one of the steps toward pregnancy.
A blastocyst develops after about 5 to 6 days of the sperm fertilizing the egg. Cell layers of the blastocyst are dividing and separating and will eventually evolve into structures that safeguard and nourish the developing embryo.
A fertilized egg’s blastocyst stage is critical for IVF (in vitro fertilization). IVF is the procedure of developing an embryo outside your body to aid in pregnancy.
During regular IVF, embryos are cultivated in a laboratory under very rigorous control conditions for 2-3 days. They are then implanted into the woman’s uterus, and any remaining embryos are preserved for later use.
Blastocyst culture is the process of culturing embryos in the laboratory for two additional days before they are known as blastocyst embryos.
Blastocyst transfer implies that blastocyst embryos are transferred to your uterus on day 5, similarly to embryos transplanted on day 3.
Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a renowned IVF doctor in Mumbai, has over 35 years of experience in treating patients with fertility issues. He works at Babies & Us IVF and ICSI Centre, one of the best IVF centres in Mumbai.
Structure of blastocyst
A blastocyst is a cell-filled hollow ball. The cells are organized into two levels. The inner layer is around three to four cells thick, whereas the outer layer is approximately one cell thick.
Blastocyst cells divide fast. A developed blastocyst can include 200 to 300 cells.
Who is it useful for?
According to Dr. Pai, a IVF doctor in India, a blastocyst culture can be beneficial if you have failed multiple IVF treatments. If the embryos are implanted and do not react to a blastocyst, it might suggest an issue with the eggs.
- If you want to get pregnant without the risk of multiple births
- If you don’t want to freeze your remaining embryos
Importance of Blastocyst in IVF
According to Dr. Pai, an IVF doctor in Mumbai, during the procedure of IVF, your gynecologist will evaluate and grade the blastocysts to identify which embryos are most likely to result in a pregnancy.
5 to 6 days after the fertilization takes place, blastocysts will be ready to be transferred into your uterus during the IVF procedure.
Gynecologists might grade these blastocysts based on shape, density, maturity, and cell number.
Stages of Blastocyst Culture
According to Dr. Pai, the following are the stages of blastocyst culture:
- Day 0: Your gynecologist will retrieve the eggs and will perform IVF or ICSI.
- Day 1: The embryologist will check how many eggs are fertilized on the second day.
- Day 2: The embryo will develop 2 to 4 cells.
- Day 3: The embryo will develop eight cells.
- Day 4: Embryos will reach the morula stage. The morula stage is the developmental stage in which the dividing cell mass has 20-30 cells.
- Day 5 and 6: The embryos will reach the blastocyst stage. Blastocyst culture and transfer treatment are available at Babies & Us IVF Centre in Mumbai.
Success Rate of Blastocyst Culture
According to Dr. Pai, the blastocyst transfer has allowed couples to conceive healthier children with fewer birth deformities and anomalies. Researchers have seen a rise in the success rate of IVF procedures using blastocyst.
Approximately 45% of fertilized eggs reach the blastocyst stage.
According to Dr. Pai, following are the advantages of blastocyst culture and transfer:
- The embryo undergoes several modifications. It occurs during the first four days when the blastocyst develops and separates from a fertilized egg.
- During the preimplantation period, it assists in the development of the embryo.
- The implantation rate rises as embryos spend more time developing in the lab. This makes selecting the best embryo to implant in the womb easy.
- A few embryos are implanted in your uterus. This reduces the likelihood of multiple pregnancies and enhances the probability of success.
Risks associated with Blastocyst Culture
Some of the risks of blastocyst culture include:
- Blastocyst culture needs quality control and proper laboratory culture conditions. There are not a lot of clinics that provide this treatment.
- There is a chance that not a single embryo will develop into blastocysts. You may have to cancel the procedure due to this.
- A few embryos develop into blastocysts. So there might be a few or no extra embryos to freeze after the IVF cycle.
Blastocysts play a crucial role in a successful pregnancy. If you are getting IVF treatment, your gynecologist will check the blastocysts to check if they are healthy. If blastocysts don’t develop normally or don’t implant in the uterus will not result in pregnancy.
You can visit Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, one of the best IVF doctors in Mumbai, for further inquiries and treatment.