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The Fertility Mentor

Let me help you navigate the process.

My Blog


To Blastocyst or Not...That is the Question

Posted on January 30, 2012 at 2:08 AM Comments comments (14)
When undergoing IVF, there might come a time when you are faced with the decision to "go to blastocyst," or not. Simply put, this refers to whether you opt to culture your embryos in a Petri dish for 5 days in the lab, before having them transferred back to the uterus.
There are serious consequences to doing it or not doing it, so this decision must not be taken lightly. Not surprisingly, embryos fare much better living inside the uterus, as opposed to living outside the body. The reward to waiting 5 days is that as the cells continue to divide while in the Petri dish, there is an increased chance of implantation, once they are transferred back into the uterus -- IF the embryos can last that long. The risk is that they could die before 5 days is up and you might not be able to transfer any of them back to the uterus.
Also, keep in mind that if the embryos are still thriving by day 5 and can be transferred back to the uterus, there is a real chance too that more than one embryo can "take." It's not just the decision about whether or not to attempt blastocyst. It's also the question of how many embryos to use. If you are lucky enough to produce more than one to culture, you will need to discuss with your partner AND doctor, just how many to transfer, considering the possibility of having multiple embryos implant.
Decisions like these are by no means easy. Do you risk having multiple embryos implant? Do you risk having all of your embryos die? Do you risk not attempting blastocyst at all, having however many embryos transferred back, only to wind up having none of them implant at all......again, perhaps?
The daunting thought of having to make this call can be severely overwhelming. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page, no matter what you decide to do. Also, make sure your doctor is on the same page with both of you. And if not, go find a doctor who is. This is a life-changing decision that you need to make all together. Your doctor is there to support you medically, but you and your partner need to resolve any ethical or religious aspects BEFORE proceeding this way.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments that I may answer here.