Egg Embryo Quality
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Egg & Embryo Quality FAQ

HOW DO YOU TEST EGG QUALITY?

Unfortunately, there are no accurate screening tests for egg quality. The best indicator we have is your age. As you get older, your ovarian reserve (the number of eggs in your ovaries) declines, and therefore so do your chances of a viable pregnancy. Not only is the number of eggs in your ovarian reserve important; the quality of those eggs is a key factor. For most 30 year old women, only 12% of eggs have the potential to become babies. By age 40, only 4% of those eggs remain. The ever ticking biological clock is a reality.

HOW DOES AN EGG BECOME AN EMBRYO?

embryoOvulation occurs each month when the ovaries release a mature egg. After the egg is released from the ovary, it travels into the fallopian tube, where it stays until a single sperm successfully fertilizes it. Here, it begins to grow fast into an embryo, dividing into many cells every 12-24 hours.


HOW IMPORTANT IS EGG AND EMBRYO QUALITY?

Very! High-quality eggs produce high-quality embryos, which therefore helps the embryo to continue growing and to “stick” once inside the uterus. Embryos must be strong enough to survive the early stages of development in order to result in a successful pregnancy. As a woman ages, her ability to produce high-quality eggs starts to diminish, which in turn, affects the quality of her embryos and ultimately – her success.

WHAT IS A DAY 3 EMBRYO?

When a sperm fertilizes an egg, it creates a single cell that continues to divide. Three days after fertilization we determine if a Day 3 embryo has continued to divide and is a good candidate for implantation. If we feel the embryos are of good quality we continue to develop the embryo for two more days, so that they become stronger and more viable for implantation. If we do not think an embryo is likely to grow stronger (see blastocyst info below) we will arrange the embryo transfer on Day 3.


babyshoespinkWHAT IS A DAY 5 EMBRYO?

A Day 5 embryo is called a blastocyst. It is a highly developed embryo that has grown to the point where it is ready to attach to the uterine wall (implantation). These embryos are left to develop for 5 days and contain hundreds of cells. Approximately one third of all embryos are capable of growing to the blastocyst stage and not all laboratories have the capability of culturing embryos to this point, like we do. If an embryo reaches the blastocyst stage, we know it is a superior, healthy embryo and has a better chance of implanting successfully.


HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH EMBRYO TO TRANSFER?

All groups of embryos are unique. Sometimes, the best embryos show themselves right away, while others take a few days. This is why our doctors, scientists, and laboratory embryologists all closely watch embryos grow in the lab before making a determination on your transfer day.

HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE EMBRYOS?

Our innovative, new embryonic incubators improve embryo quality and fertility success rates. No other center in Arizona utilizes these cutting-edge incubators. They use a unique mix of three gases to create a more consistent culturing environment. By monitoring a continual data stream from these incubators we ensure a safe and stable environment for our patient’s embryos.

icsi2MY 1ST CYCLE WAS UNSUCCESSFUL. SHOULD I KEEP TRYING?

Definitely! While the quality of your eggs are mostly determined by your age, there are variations from month to month.

WHAT EMBRYO SCREENING TESTS & TECHNOLOGIES DO YOU OFFER?

Our cutting-edge embryology laboratory and scientific team are industry leaders in embryo testing. We continue to improve our success rates via the following tests:

  • Assisted Hatching
    Some embryos that have lower metabolic activity may not be able to escape from their “shell” and implant. Dr. Hade utilizes this procedure by making a miniscule opening with a tiny pipette and acidic solution, allowing the embryo to hatch and then implant.
  • Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) for single gene disorders
    If you are at higher risk for passing along a specific single gene disorder like cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, or Huntington’s disease, you should consider our PGD Program. This early diagnostic test is performed on an IVF embryo before it is transferred to your uterus.
  • Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) for chromosomal abnormalities
    Testing for chromosomal abnormalities that might result in birth defects or cognitive impairment increases pregnancy success and the birth of healthy babies. If you are over age 40, have had recurrent miscarriages, or have other risk factors, this extremely accurate test can help you make an informed decision about your chances.