Day 3 or Day 5 Embryo transfer – WHICH IS BETTER?
In fact, the success and Cost of the IVF cycle depends upon this.
Congratulations are due as you have crossed the 1st milestone – the fertilization or fusion of healthy eggs harvested from the woman with sperm. The sperm may be from her husband or from a source unknown to the woman.
In the course of the natural fertilization process, when the embryo is formed within the body, changes occur inside the uterus as it prepares itself to accept the embryo and subsequently offer it nutrition. This seemingly simple process is actually a very complex one.
During the IVF cycle, this complex process is carried out by the embryologist in the IVF laboratory. This entire process needs to be monitored while creating conditions as close as possible to those in the woman’s body.
Between 24 and 30 hours after fertilization (Day 1), the embryo gets divided into 2 cells. By Day 2 the embryo is 4 cells and by the third day, the embryo is a 6-8 celled structure.
On the 4th day, the embryo cells are now fused, within 16-32 cell structures. This structure is now called a morula, which is a fast developing stage.
On day 5 of the embryo, the cells are specialized and carry out necessary functioning. The outer surface of the morula is the placenta in making & fluid secretions turning into the amniotic fluid.
Now, the real challenge is surviving and growing during the next 48 hrs. (day 3 to 5). The not-so-competent embryos will not survive this stage & leave only the best to be selected for transfer. In the womb, implantation will occur only if the embryo reaches the day 5 stage.
The IVF center has the option of transferring on Day 3, hoping that the natural environment within the womb will take it to day 5 and enable implantation to occur.
However, this is taking a risk at the patient’s expense. If, after a day 3 transfer an innately deficient embryo does not survive to grow to day 5, the transfer is bound to fail.
At Pearl Women’s Hospital, we do only day 5 transfers. In short, we transfer only when we are confident that the embryo is good enough to have grown up to day 5, increasing the chances of successful implantation.
In many institutes that offer low-priced cycles, the compulsion to reduce cycle rates means the adoption of cost-saving measures like bulk transfers. Also, many simply do not have an in-house embryologist. Thus, transfers take place only when the embryologist is available, which may be day 3 or day 5.
We are a professional institute with an in-house embryologist who is an M.Sc in Embryology from UK, a very rare commodity. No wonder then that our success rate is higher (71%) and therefore the cost to pregnancy is lower since we require less number of cycles for ensuring conception and live birth.
There are a few instances, where some women will not have any embryo left for transfer despite appearing good on day 3. It is very easy to say, such embryos which did not survive, eventually could not achieve pregnancy, even though transferred on day 3. Such embryos are chromosomally not competent.
Safe to say that the more advanced the growth of the embryo, the better the chances of implantation in the uterine lining.
To summarize – We transfer the embryo on day 5 only after its survival and quality have been confirmed. This increases the success rate of the cycle. This means the cost to pregnancy gets reduced since a lesser number of cycles may be required for pregnancy.
Do’s & Don’t on Embryo Transfer Day
On the day of ET, be calm, stress-free
It’s a relatively simple & painless procedure of about 30 min. Ultrasound-guided Embryo Transfer ensure the best implantation of the embryos.
A very small percentage of women may require transfer under Anesthesia or sedation.
You can have a light delight meal before your Embryo transfer.
The transfer is done with a full bladder, so drink plenty of water.
Avoid makeup or perfume as embryos are sensitive to such objects.
Avoid hot baths, swimming or any intense activity for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Avoid having sex, long or bumpy trips right after embryo transfer. Because the embryo takes first 72 hours to implant itself.
We at pearl women’s hospital & Yash IVF, recommend day 5 embryo transfer to almost all of the patients with a few exceptions if any.
1. Pearl Women’s Hospital &Yash IVF has an excellent IVF lab upgraded as per the latest international guidelines
2. In-house embryologist and team are the key assets and factors of our success
3. Latest infrastructure & upgradation ensure embryo development to Day 5 (Blastocyst stage)