Blastocyst transfer is offered by TFP Fertility as part of in vitro-fertilisation (IVF) treatment.
During IVF, one or more embryos (an egg that has been fertilised with sperm) are placed into the womb after they have developed in a specialist lab for some time.
At day five of development, the embryo grows into a complex and highly developed blastocyst.
Our embryologists can choose which embryos have the highest chance of success more easily at the blastocyst stage by its appearance and how it has developed in the laboratory.
Through this procedure, IVF with blastocyst transfers often has higher birth rates.
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When you come to us, we’ll take the time to get to know you, understand your medical history, and discuss what options could help you.
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During IVF blastocyst transfer, an egg is fertilised by sperm in a lab.
The resulting embryo is carefully grown for five or six days until it reaches the blastocyst stage and is then placed inside the womb to develop.
If you’re a woman having a blastocyst transfer, the procedure will typically follow these steps:
1 - Fertilising the eggs
Eggs are combined with sperm in a laboratory to fertilise them.
If necessary, each egg may be injected with a single sperm by our specialist.
This is known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and is recommended in cases where sperm count or quality is lower than ideal.
2 - Incubation period
The fertilised eggs, now called embryos, are incubated for five to six days until the embryo becomes a blastocyst.
Some of our clinics use a special incubator with built-in cameras called an EmbryoscopeTM to create a time-lapse video showing embryo development.
This helps us assess which embryos are strongest and most likely to implant successfully.
3 - Identifying the best embryos
The best one or two embryo(s) are chosen to ensure the highest chance of success.
Any other healthy embryos can be frozen for future use.
4 - Embryo transfer
Using a thin tube that is passed through your vagina, the blastocysts are then transferred into the womb to develop.
Assisted hatching is not recommended in all cases.
Blastocyst transfer may increase the success rate of IVF but is not right for everyone.
It may be best suited for younger women with good quality embryos and high chances of getting pregnant through IVF.
Women with low egg counts might not be best suited for this treatment.
Your TFP Fertility experts will decide if it’s right for you. When you come to us, we’ll take the time to get to know you, understand your medical history, and discuss what the best options are for you and your individual case.
We can provide more information and advice about whether this treatment is right for you – just contact us today and we’ll help answer your questions.
It’s particularly recommended for IVF and ICSI patients:
Over the age of 38
Who have had multiple unsuccessful attempts of IVF of ICSI with no known cause
Who are using frozen embryos that may have developed a thickened zona
Our experienced clinicians at TFP Fertility clinics will discuss whether assisted hatching is right for you in an individual consultation.
Not all embryos that are grown in a lab will develop into blastocysts.
There’s a chance the embryo will stop developing and become unsuitable to be transferred to the womb.
We can provide more information and advice on the risks of blastocyst transfer, and whether this treatment is right for you – just contact us today and we’ll help answer your questions.
If the embryo is damaged, it cannot be used.
If blastocyst transfer is the right choice for you, there can be great advantages to choosing this treatment pathway for your IVF.
Decreases the chance of being pregnant with more than one baby
As blastocyst transfer has a greater chance of implantation, less embryos are transferred, reducing your chance of developing multiple pregnancy.
Because of the high rates of success, in Germany under the Embryo Protection Act, a maximum of three embryos are allowed to mature to the blastocyst stage in the laboratory.
The embryos that aren’t transferred can be frozen and stored to be used in the future.
Increases pregnancy and birth rates
Studies have shown that allowing the embryos to hatch and develop to the blastocyst stage before they are transferred increases the chance that the embryo will implant to the womb and continue to grow.
Also, the freezing of the blastocysts that aren’t transferred have a high rate of surviving the freezing and thawing process.
Under the Embryo Protection Law, a maximum of only three fertilised eggs are allowed to mature to the blastocyst stage in an incubator.
It is important to note that in Germany, the choosing of embryos are not allowed under the Embryo Protection Law.
Your TFP Fertility embryologist will use a microscope with a laser to create a small hole precisely in the zona shell.
The embryo cells will not be affected by the laser. It will now be able to break out of its shell easier.
The embryo is then transferred into the womb, and you’ll have regular check-ups with your doctor.
After blastocyst transfer is complete, it takes around nine days for your hormone levels to rise and the pregnancy to be detected.
You may be eager to find out what’s happening in your body during that time, here’s what to expect each day post transfer:
Day 1: The blastocyst begins a process called hatching. The blastocyst is surrounded by a thin shell and begins to hatch out of it, preparing to implant to your womb.
Day 2: The blastocyst, still hatching, begins to attach itself to your womb. This is when the blastocyst beings the process of implanting itself onto your uterus.
Day 3 and 4: The blastocyst starts to implant itself onto your womb and attaches itself deeper to your uterus
Day 5: The implantation should now be done. Your foetus and the placenta have now started to develop.
Day 6: A hormone called human Chorionic Gonadotropic (hCG) is now starting to be released into your bloodstream. This is the hormone that’s detected to indicate that you’re pregnant.
Day 7 and 8: Your foetus continues to grow and the hormone hCG is continuously released into your blood.
From day 11: Your hCG levels have become high enough to be picked up in a blood or urine test that can confirm that you are now pregnant.
You can use donor sperm for IVF where the man has a very low or no sperm count or a lesbian couple.
In some regions of Germany, it’s possible for single women to use donor sperm to have IVF.
If you’d like to know more about using donor sperm, visit our TFP Fertility sperm donor page.