Sample Essay

Culturing embryos to the blast stage extends embryo viability. Only 40-50% of embryos actually develop to this stage (5). The embryos that make it to blastosysts are the highest quality embryos. Chromosomally abnormal embryos and slow growing embryos are weeded out through the extended culture process.

By day 5 or 6 the embryos that have survived are clearly the ones that are the most viable and capable of successful development.  High quality embryos limit the need to transfer a high number of embryos, therefore helping to prevent high order multiple gestations and increased ability to undergo cryopreservation. In contrast to early cleavage transfer, with blastocysts you are fully able to see the quality of the embryos.  Being able to see the full quality and potential of the embryos allows an embryologist to select the absolute best embryos.  This therefore allows fo (Gardner, Schoolcraft, & Schlenker, 1998)r the transfer of a low quantity but high quality.

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