Embryo development

The laboratory will contact you daily with updates regarding your embryo/s, right from the morning after your egg collection. The first call (day 1) will be to inform you how many of your eggs have fertilised normally with the sperm sample provided at egg collection.

On the following two days (days 2 and 3) the embryologists will assess how your embryos are developing, recording the number of cells in each of them, as well as making assessments of their quality. For the majority of our patients, the assessment made on the morning of day 3 determines whether the embryo transfer will take place that day, or whether the embryos will be cultured on to blastocyst (day 5) for transfer. This will depend on the number of embryos being replaced, as well as the number of good quality embryos available for transfer. The embryologist will explain and guide you through these steps.

If you are having a day 2 or 3 transfer, with your permission, all excess embryos will be cultured on to day 5 or 6, to see if they are able to progress to the blastocyst stage at which time they may be frozen if they are of good quality and contain the visible and necessary structures known to give rise to a pregnancy.

The embryologists will call you daily (with the exception of day 4 when no embryos are assessed) by 10am each morning. The Laboratory Guide given to you on the day of egg collection will provide a good insight into the journey your embryos will make in our laboratory, providing information and pictures to help you understand how we make our decisions regarding both the number of embryos to transfer and the stage when the transfer is made to maximise your chances of success.

We strongly believe that embryo/s should be replaced at the optimum stage of development, when they have proven themselves through a process of self-selection. It is for this reason that we perform embryos transfers 7 days a week, on days 2, 3 and 5.