Blastocyst culture is an advanced technique used to increase the IVF pregnancy rate and decrease the multiple pregnancy rates.
The term ‘blastocyst’ refers to the stage of development that the embryo must reach before it can be implanted in the uterus. It is the human embryo 5 – 6 days after fertilisation.
In other words, Blastocyst culture refers to growing embryos in the laboratory for two more days. At this point they are referred to as blastocyst embryos.
With the help of advanced biological science and research, it has become possible to grow embryos to the blastocyst stage in the laboratory. This stage occurs on the fifth or sixth day after the retrieval process.
Typically a blastocyst is a highly developed embryo that has divided several times and is almost ready to be implanted into the uterus, once transferred.
The survival period of each embryo is approximately three days and after that, it must achieve its own genes to survive, which is not possible for all embryos.
About one- third embryos reach the blastocyst stage which is highly developed and has a higher rate of implantation. The blastocyst culture technique gives the embryologist opportunity to choose fewer stronger and healthier embryo that has higher capability to achieve pregnancy and thus reduces the chances of multiple pregnancies.
Blastocyst culture is not beneficial for all IVF patients and is successful for those who are younger and have a larger number of eggs at the time of the retrieval process. Hence, It is advisable to consult your doctor to know whether this technique is for you or not.