Embryo Growth is Monitored in the IVF Lab
Following either IVF insemination or ICSI, culture dishes containing the sperm, eggs, and growth media are placed into an incubator where the environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, light, and gas concentration) can be tightly controlled in order to mimic the conditions inside the woman’s fallopian tubes and uterus. Over the next five days, the embryologists at Presbyterian ARTs will monitor the embryos for fertilization and growth, reporting the progress back to Dr. Douglas and the couple. The embryologists will follow each egg for progress according to the laboratory protocol, disturbing the forming embryo as little a possible to allow for uninterrupted growth and maturation.
Laboratory Protocol for Observation of Embryos
Day 0: Day of retrieval; insemination and ICSI only
Day 1: Fertilization check; fertilization numbers are reported to Dr. Douglas and the couple
Day 2: No Observation
Day 3: Growth check and assessment for transfer
Day 4: No observation
Day 5: Growth check and assessment for transfer
During the growth process, several highly specialized laboratory techniques can be utilized to increase the chances for a successful pregnancy outcome. Both assisted hatching, as well as preimplantation genetic selection (PGS/PGD), can occur at this stage of the development process.