Day 1 Fertilization Check
The first fertilization check occurs in the morning to evaluate whether eggs have properly fertilized over the evening to become embryos. The individual oocytes (eggs) are isolated and placed into a petri dish to be washed in the embryo culture media, then examined under a large, inverted microscope. Once the embryologist has determined if the eggs have matured into zygotes, (s)he places the dish back in the incubator and documents the results.
Day 3 Embryo Check with Grading
As part of the day 3 embryo evaluation, the embryologist reviews the embryos under a microscope, taking video documentation along the way. In addition to supplementing the patient’s paperwork, this information is used to complete a fertilization and embryo report for the patient’s physicians. As part of this process, a grading system is used to rate embryos as good, fair or poor based on their cell quantity and quality.
Day 5 Embryo Check with Blastocyst Grading
On the fifth day, the embryologist examines the blastocysts under a microscope and takes pictures to be included with the patient documentation. Once the embryos are returned to the incubator, the embryologist records his or her findings, a process that includes classifying each embryo within a pre-determined framework based on its growth, development and cell quality. This rigorous evaluation process allows us to apply a uniform grading scale within the lab and affords patients greater insight into the development of their embryos.