This is due to a number of reasons and most commonly because couples ask for more than one embryo transfer to increase the likelihood of IVF success. However, when the uterus is receptive, all the embryos will successfully implant.
An embryo becomes a blastocyst after 5 days. This technique of keeping the embryo in the lab incubator for 5 to 6 days is becoming quite popular as it assures a higher probability of the IVF procedure success.
Meaning of blastocyst culture and transfer
Blastocyst culture refers to the growing of embryos in the laboratory for the cells in them to multiply. It usually takes 3-5 days for the embryos to culture. This enhances the chances of successful implantation of embryo.
Blastocyst transfer similarly in this regard means that when the embryos are cultured and transferred to the uterus on the 5th day of culture.
It has been found that blastocyst has a higher rate of multiple pregnancies. This has been concluded in a study where it was found that the blastocyst had a tendency to divide. This caused the formation of a monozygotic twin, which are identical twins. Monozygotic twins are formed from a single embryo and are absolutely similar.
Risks attached to blastocyst transfer
Embryos that get to the blastocyst stage have a higher survival rate and are chromosomally better balanced and have a better overall development.
However, there is also the risk that not all embryos survive to the blastocyst stage in the lab, and hence some doctors suggest that couple do a day 2 or 3 transfer to the uterus to give the embryo a better survival chance.
Success of blastocyst culture and transfer
Some doctors feel that culturing the embryo for longer than 3 days allows them to study the embryos and monitor the ones that do not become a blastocyst. This enables the doctors to choose the best embryo to transfer for the IVF procedure.
Today good culture media is available, and this allows the embryos to develop successfully into a blastocyst. Earlier it was found that many embryos arrest by day 3 and do not develop into blastocyst due to poorer quality culture media.
The rate of pregnancy success has improved with Blastocyst transfers as compared to day 3 transfers. The blastocyst has a better chance of implantation as it is mature and already beginning to hatch.
With day 3 transfer, many couples preferred 2 or 3 embryos to be transferred simultaneously. However, due to the higher probability of blastocyst implanting, the doctor usually advises against the transfer of more than one blastocyst. There is a 50% to 60% probability of twin pregnancies with the transfer of two or more blastocyst.
The risk of blastocyst splitting and become monozygotic twins is 2%. Multiple pregnancies hold many risks for the mother as well as for the babies. Doctors do their best to avoid multiple births. Couples, on the other hand, are quite keen on multiple births and would prefer to have twins rather than one baby.
Many couples feel that it is a great advantage to have two babies at one time instead of going through the IVF treatment again. However, doctors are worried about the health risks this poses for both mother and babies.
Multiple pregnancies have a high probability of preterm births, and this puts the health of the babies and the mother at high risk. Some couples seem willing to take this risk.
Blastocyst does have a possibility of multiple pregnancies due to the embryo dividing, but the percentage is very low, and hence couple do not need to worry about it. Sometimes even when the embryo does split one of the babies, the weaker one does not survive — thus leaving the mother with one healthier baby that will make it to the full term.
It has been known for some time that it is better to transfer a single embryo to a woman's womb during assisted reproduction treatment (ART) rather than several embryos in order to avoid multiple pregnancies and the risks associated with it. However, even when single embryo transfer (SET) is performed, some women still become pregnant with twins or even triplets.
Medicover Fertility is the leading international fertility chain, that has helped countless couples by fulfilling their dream of parenthood. For any issues related to blastocyst transfer or IVF treatment, you may contact us by calling us on +91-7862-800-700.
Can a blastocyst split into twins?
There have been several occurrences of identical twins, mostly after the transfer of blastocyst, when the embryo splits after fertilization.
Can one embryo produce twins?
Yes, sometimes single embryo transfer can also produce twins of different sex.
How many fertilized eggs make it to blastocyst?
Typically, it goes something like this: 10 eggs, 8 mature eggs, 6 fertilized embryos, 4 eight-cell embryos, 2 to 3 blastocysts. If the egg numbers are larger than 20, we typically have more immature eggs in the bunch.
Is a hatching blastocyst a good sign?
Hatching or hatched blastocysts have a better potential to implant and develop into a positive pregnancy.