Blastocyst Transfer

Definition - What does Blastocyst Transfer mean?

Blastocyst transfer is a procedure in which an early stage embryo (around day 5) is grown externally and then transferred into the uterus in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure.

The blastocyst is a hollow ball of cells (the trophoblast) enclosing a fluid-filled space with an inner cell mass. The trophoblast will develop into the placenta, and the inner cell mass will form the embryo.

FertilitySmarts explains Blastocyst Transfer

Blastocyst transfer can be accomplished using fresh or frozen embryos as an alternative to the transfer of earlier, cleavage stage embryos (day 3). Research shows that in certain patients with a good prognosis, transfer of blastocysts is more likely to result in implantation and a successful pregnancy compared to transfer of cleavage stage embryos.

The cleavage stage embryos are usually transferred three days after IVF. Waiting two more days for the embryos to develop into blastocysts results in the death of some of the embryos, but those embryos that survive are often higher quality than the cleavage stage embryos. As a result, fewer embryos need to be transferred to the uterus in order to have a reasonable chance of establishing a pregnancy. For this reason, the use of blastocyst transfer may reduce the number of multiple births following embryo transfer.

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