IVF 101: Day 3 vs. Day 5 Embryo Transfer
At The Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Dr. Janelle Dorsett and her team of fertility specialists offer a full range of treatments designed to help their patients expand their families by introducing precious new lives into this world. Among the most successful of these treatments is IVF, or in vitro fertilization, a procedure in which a woman’s eggs are fertilized in a state-of-the-art laboratory before being transferred to the uterus. Throughout the years, IVF has become increasingly effective and represents a true ray of hope for those suffering from both female and male infertility factors.
There are numerous options when it comes to IVF, and one size truly does not fit all in terms of which options are best suited to each individual patient. For example, embryos can be transferred to the uterus on either the third day after retrieval or the fifth day. In discussing day 3 vs. day 5 embryo transfer with patients of her Lubbock, TX fertility clinic, Dr. Dorsett explains the potential benefits and drawbacks of each method. She then advises patients honestly of which method she recommends in their particular case.
If you would like to learn more about IVF and how you might benefit from treatment, please schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Janelle Dorsett today.
The Difference between a Day 3 Embryo and a Day 5 Embryo
An embryo sets out on its journey as a single cell that divides every 12 to 24 hours. In the earliest days of IVF, when laboratory conditions were not as advanced as they are now, embryo transfer usually took place within a day or two of retrieval. This quick transfer was necessary as the embryo couldn’t survive for long outside of the human body.
As laboratory conditions improved, day 3 embryo transfer became the standard. At day 3, healthy embryos generally have four to eight cells. Waiting until the third day gave fertility specialists a better opportunity to gauge which embryos were dividing properly, which helped to improve the rate of successful pregnancies achieved through IVF.
Through the years, laboratory conditions continued to improve, to the point that it became possible for embryos to survive to the blastocyst stage, which occurs on the fifth day after retrieval. At the blastocyst stage, the embryo has between 70 and 100 cells, including the type of cell that will develop into fetal tissue. Some studies support that embryos transferred at the blastocyst stage have a higher implantation rate.
For many patients, a day 5 transfer is potentially ideal, especially since embryos typically implant five or six days after ovulation in natural conception cycles. However, for some patients, such as those who have only one or two embryos that develop properly after retrieval, there may be no benefit in waiting for a day 5 transfer. In such cases, a day 3 transfer may be recommended.
Learn More about Day 3 vs. Day 5 Embryo Transfer
To learn more about day 3 vs. day 5 embryo transfer, please contact The Centre for Reproductive Medicine today.