Blastocyst Culture

Blastocyst culture is one of the techniques used for IVF treatment which is intended to maximize the chances of pregnancy on one hand and reducing the risk of multiple pregnancies on the other hand.
Embryos are cultured for five to six days so that they can reach the blastocyst stage for development in the laboratories and then can be implanted inside the uterus.This blastocyst culture allows the selection of the best one or two blastocysts among the early embryos to be transferred to the mother decreasing the chances of multiple pregnancies. Blastocyst structure is very complex to understand as compared to the early stages of the embryo because of the increase in the number of cells that have now been organized into two different types among those the trophectoderm, plays vital role for the implantation into the uterine lining and the inner cell mass will give rise to the foetus itself.

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Blastocyst looks like as shown in the female body:
The eggs are then fertilized followed by the ovulation process from the ovary and embryos keeps on dividing itself as they continue to pass along the fallopian tube. This blastocyst is formed completely as the embryo reaches the uterus.


IVF involves the replacement of embryos into the uterus after 3 days once the embryos reach the stage of stage of cleavage of development.

Blastocyst culture involves extending  the period to 5-6 days for which the embryos are cultured in the laboratory.



  • The blastocyst usually forms on the 5th day as the fluid build within the compacted morula.
  • A healthy blastocyst begins hatching from its outer shell (zona pellucid) between 5th and the 7th day from the fertilization.
  • Within 24 hrs of hatching ,embryo implantation after IVF begins as the embryo invades into uterine lining
  • HCG hormone is then released by the blastocyst which leaks into the mother’s blood as the embryo implants .



The patients who have fewer oocytes retrieved , fewer fertilized or fewer dividing embryos by day 3 in culture have no added advantage using blastocyst culture since very few amount is gained by self-selection of an embryo.

Blastocyst culture does not provide any improvement in the health of an individual which is not otherwise even able to sustain five days of growth and then implant. It allows embryos that are able to sustain themselves for growth to continue then they can be cultured and reach their maximum inherent capability.



  • The Process of embryo implantation begins about 3 days later after the blastocyst have been formed and the embryonic shell have been hatched out.
  • If In-vitro culture conditions have been maximized so that formation of healthy blastocyst occur at a high rate and then on the 5th day the embryo transfer can be done.
    • The uterine lining on 5th day should be receptive to the arriving embryo. This is a more natural time for the embryos to be in the uterus which is very much similar to natural pregnancy.
    • The transfer is done in short time before the actual invasion and implantation.




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