Blastocyst culture and transfer is a technique developed for in vitro fertilization (IVF). This procedure aims to maximize pregnancy rates while minimizing the risk of multiple pregnancies.
The embryos of blastocysts are usually cultured for 3 days (cleavage stage with 4 to 10 cells) before being transferred to the uterus. By extending the culture to 5 or 6 days (blastocyst culture), some embryos will develop to the blastocyst stage (up to hundreds of cells). This allows the embryologist to select more advanced embryos with better implantation potential at the time of transfer.
A significant benefit of blastocyst culture and transfer is the reduction in multiple births that can result from IVF because there are fewer embryos (1 or
2) to transfer.