Reviewed by Ashley Wong, MS, Clinical EmbryologistCheckmark
Published: December 16, 2016

What Does Embryologist Mean?

An embryologist is a scientist, typically found in a fertility clinic or lab that is involved in reproductive research or fertility assessments.

Embryologists are scientists who may facilitate testing, sample retrieval, and laboratory work for assisted reproductive technologies (ART) like in vitro fertilization (IVF).

FertilitySmarts Explains Embryologist

Many individuals or couples who face infertility issues are referred to a fertility clinic for testing and treatment. During treatment at a fertility clinic, a medical team is responsible for patient care.

An embryologist is one member of this medical team. Embryologists play a critical role in all aspects of the creation and development of embryos. Common tasks completed by an embryologist include:

  • Egg identification during retrieval
  • Sperm processing including washing and analysis
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
  • Assisted hatching of embryos
  • Embryo biopsy and cell processing procedures for preimplantation genetic testing (PGT)
  • Preparing embryos for transfer
  • Monitoring embryo development
  • Cryopreservation

Embryologists are scientists, not physicians, and cannot perform medical procedures on a patient, diagnose conditions or prescribe medication.


Clinical Embryologist

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