The transfer of a blastocyst embryo is an important stage in the in vitro fertilization process (IVF). Prior to the transfer, there is a lot that needs to happen. During an IVF cycle, a fertility specialist will combine the sperm and egg in a culture dish at a laboratory. If the fertilization is successful, an embryo will begin to develop. Typically, the embryo will be grown in culture in the lab until it reaches the blastocyst stage. Blastocyst stage occurs about 5 or 6 days after fertilization. Unfortunately, not all fertilized eggs typically make it to blastocyst stage; some arrest in the lab. Some patients have blastocysts transferred fresh and others choose to have frozen embryo transfers. If you are interested in genetic testing like PGT-A to test for chromosome imbalances, you will likely need to plan for a frozen embryo transfer. After you have blastocysts made, you and your fertility doctor will need to make some decisions about your embryos. Here, we explore some of these questions so you know what to expect.
An overview of the decisions you’ll need to make about your embryosA good fertility doctor will make sure that you feel involved and informed. During your IVF treatment, the doctor will discuss two key decisions you need to make in regard to your fertilized blastocyst embryos. These are:
- If there is more than one viable embryo, how many to transfer to your womb.
- Which embryos are the best quality and most likely to result in pregnancy.