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We have had a great start to our blastocyst transfer programme which has been recognised by many of our professional colleagues in the embryology field. It is a bold step to introduce a new technique, but treatments such as these can be introduced confidently and successfully as we have clearly proved

What is a blastocyst?
A blastocyst is an embryo that has been allowed to develop for 5 days or more after egg collection / insemination. This is in contrast to standard IVF where the embryos are allowed to develop for only 2-3 days. Until fairly recently it was not possible to culture embryos successfully in the laboratory to blastocyst stage and at the same time achieve a good pregnancy rate. Research has shown that an embryo has different needs during the various stages of development. In response to these needs, development have led to the production of innovative sequential culture media, enabling embryos to grow and survive for longer.

What are the advantages of blastocyst culture?
World-wide statisticss show that of all 2-4cell embryos that are replaced into the uterus only 15-20% actually implant. On the other hand, blastocysts are up to three times more likely to implant than 2-3 day old embryos. Indeed, in well established units, mainly in the USA, implantation rates in excess of 60% per embryos are regularly acheived. This means that for patients who are keen to avoid multiple pregnancy, it is now possible to transfer only one blastocyst and still achieve success rates comparable with that of replacing two embryos at two or three days old. Indeed, we now have three patients who