If you live in South Florida and wish to schedule an appointment to learn more about embryo freezing or blastocyst transfer, please contact us today.
As a complement to in vitro fertilization, Palmetto Fertility Center offers blastocyst transfer and embryo freezing/cryopreservation. Blastocyst transfer can increase a couple's chances of conceiving, and embryo freezing can help couples avoid repeating the egg retrieval step of in vitro fertilization.
Blastocyst culture is an in vitro fertilization technique in which embryos are grown for five or six days in the laboratory — two days longer than in standard IVF. This additional time helps us to select healthier embryos and may increase a couple's chances of conceiving. Since only one or two blastocysts are placed back into the womb, the chance for multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets) may also be reduced.
During standard IVF treatment, embryos are cultured for three days in the laboratory to the 6-10 cell stage, and then transferred back into the uterus. If an embryo is grown for five or more days in the laboratory, it becomes a blastocyst (an approximately 50-cell stage embryo). Blastocyst culture is a technique in which embryos are cultured in the laboratory to a later stage of development.
Blastocyst transfer presents certain challenges. Because a blastocyst's genetic machinery is "switched" on, it requires special culture media and a more specialized environment for growth. These techniques have dramatically improved only recently, and more IVF programs are utilizing blastocyst transfer.
From the patient's standpoint, blastocyst transfer is almost identical to standard IVF. The same stimulation protocol is used. The only variation in the protocol is an embryo transfer on day five, instead of day three. Because of the presumed higher rate of implantation, only two (or rarely, three) embryos are transferred. This may lower the rate of multiple pregnancies.
Couples undergoing IVF can preserve high-quality embryos that are not transferred by having them frozen for future use. This is known as embryo cryopreservation. All embryos are frozen at the blastocyst stage. Embryos can be placed back into the uterine cavity (a "thaw" cycle) after being frozen for many years. In this way, the couple can avoid repeating the egg retrieval process. Couples who have taken advantage of in vitro fertilization may have embryos stored at the Palmetto Fertility Center.
Led by Dr. Michael Graubert, the team of professionals at Palmetto Fertility Center is proud to bring patients a full range of fertility services, including blastocyst transfer or embryo freezing. If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about either of these techniques, please contact us today.