Blastocyst Culture is a technique to culture embryo in the laboratory to day 5 or 6 after fertilization before being placed in womb. Studies show that the implantation rate for embryos transferred at the blastocyst stage is higher than the rate of embryos transferred on day 3.
Percentage of embryos which develop to Blastocyst stage
A significant improvement in embryo culture was the development and use of mini-incubators (often called a MINC™) in which each plate of embryos are housed in a small separate section so that conditions are disturbed only when the lid of the individual compartment is lifted. Use of mini incubators increased the pregnancy rates as embryos had more stable conditions in which to develop.
Another improvement is the time lapse incubator with their built in microscope and camera which photographs each embryo at intervals. Embryos can be evaluated and monitored by the embryology staff in real-time without being disturbed or their culture interrupted. These incubators are more expensive and their use usually involves an extra cost.
At Superior A.R.T. we use the Geri incubator, the newest generation of time lapse incubator technology available with a single high quality microscope camera system dedicated to each culture chamber, allowing detailed tracking of embryo development without the plate or the embryos having to move. Each chamber is independently controlled and monitored, providing individualized, optimal culture conditions. Patients can get detailed photos of their embryo development in culture. It can be used for patients with previous poor culture, or for patients wishing to pay a premium to see detailed photos of their embryos development throughout culture.