There are more than a million babies born every year through IVF worldwide. Not to disregard the risk of complications in the natural pregnancies of couples, the popular form of ART, IVF, has become the first preference of every couple who is looking to plan for a healthy pregnancy, irrespective of the hurdles they have to cross to enjoy the most beautiful journey of life. However, the vital fact is that IVF is not an easy treatment to comprehend, especially with blastocyst culture; it is long and contributes an emotional and physical aspect to a couple’s life.
Reaching the end of IVF treatment and achieving success simultaneously is crucial. For many, the successful treatment is recognized as a prize that comes with the emotional and psychological rollercoaster. However, only a few know that blastocyst culture significantly impacts the IVF process, as embryo development is one of the many bridges you cross to enhance your likelihood of success in the IVF process.
Let’s dive in to acknowledge and comprehend blastocyst culture in IVF and increase the possibility of IVF success.
Blastocyst Culture: Understand the term more insightfully
A blastocyst is a medical name given to a human embryo (a combination of matured egg and sperm) that develops after 5–6 days from fertilization. In this stage, the cells are divided into countless numbers to make the embryo the most healthy.
In blastocyst culture in IVF, the developed embryo is ideally transferred when nourished and nurtured until the blastocyst stage.
In the blastocyst culture, the formed embryos are examined based on
Cell Division: For the first 12 hours after conception, the fertilized egg appears to be in a single cell. After 30 hours or so, the cells divide from one to two. Later, these two cells will divide to become four. At the end of 3 days, the fertilized egg takes on the structure of the berry with 16 cells known as “morula.” On the 5th or 6th day, the egg divides into multiples, and the stage is renamed “blastocyst.”
Quality of embryo: The quality of the embryo depends on its stages. Though the blastocyst is only the size of a pinhead, it comprises hundreds of cells. According to blastocyst culture in IVF, the chances of getting successfully pregnant remain at the blastocyst stage. So at this stage, the blastocyst must attach to the lining of the uterus; otherwise, the pregnancy will fail to survive, and the IVF treatment will fail.
Embryonic stages that lead to the blastocyst stage
Cleavage stage (Days 1–3): The cells repeatedly divide during this stage. To be more precise, the genetic material is duplicated in each cell, making the overall volume of the zygote (a fertilized egg) appear to be the same. The first few days of IVF are considered critical and require constant supervision. When the cells start to divide following the culture, the presence of too many cell fragments and the absence of genetic material indicate a lower chance of getting a successful conception.
Morula Stage (Days 3–5): The moment the cleavage stage ends, the morula stage begins. The morula stage is known to prepare the zygote (the cells still undergoing division) to grow. These divided cells effectively arrange themselves into a hollow circle to facilitate the known transition into the blastocyst stage.
Blastocyst stage (Days 5–6): It is noted as the final phase of the development of a fertilized egg. The above stages lead to the formation of two layers of cells. The outermost layer provides the tissues essential for a healthy pregnancy’s survival, including your placenta and amniotic sac. While inside the protective outer layer lie the multiple numbers of cells that will eventually develop into a baby.
The blastocyst culture comes to life when many cells expand, pushing against their protective shell and preparing for implantation. Once the shell is broken, the zygote hatches and adheres to your uterine wall, where it becomes a fetus.
Advantages of the blastocyst transfer with IVF
Blastocysts have a greater chance of preceding a successful IVF treatment than the implantation performed on day 3 of the embryo. A blastocyst is known to be the healthiest embryo and is also preferred by an IVF specialist.
Reduce the chances of multiple pregnancies: When the embryo gets transferred at the blastocyst stage, it enhances the possibility of a successful conception with just one embryo transfer, so reluctantly, it reduces the possibility of multiple pregnancies and the obstetric complications associated with them.
Enhance the IVF outcome: Blastocyst culture improves the IVF treatment outcome. In this, the embryologists get a more extended period to monitor and observe the embryo for 5–6 days. In addition, these time durations also aid an embryologist in selecting an embryo that can grow up to a blastocyst, which has tremendous potential compared to those embryos that are transferred on the third day.
Mimics natural pregnancy: During natural pregnancy, the embryo gets implanted at the blastocyst stage into the uterine lining. This blastocyst culture and transfer process mimics the exactness of a natural pregnancy, enhancing the success of IVF more accurately.
Following the blastocyst implantation, a pregnancy test will be performed after 7 days to determine if the embryo implantation was successful.
Read more: How Soon Can a Pregnancy Test Be Taken After Implantation?
Long in short, embryo culture helps to improve the embryo selection process by allowing embryologists to gather more and more information so that successful implantation can occur.
The bottom line
Blastocyst culture is one of the most significant factors of IVF treatment, where a successful embryo transfer should be your goal for the long and endless journey. However, the decisions finalized by a team of IVF experts are usually based on your age, fertility history, and how many embryos to transfer that will lead to a successful pregnancy. So, it is better to talk with your doctor at the best IVF center in Delhi, let them study your health condition, and reach the ultimate goal of a successful pregnancy so that you can overcome the hurdles in your life and start your journey to enjoying parenthood at the earliest.
Related Post: Frozen Blastocyst Transfer: A Comprehensive Guide