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Houston Fertility Center

Day 3 vs. Day 5 Embryo Transfer

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on May 17, 2017

Day 3 vs. Day 5 Embryo TransferChoosing to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) at our Houston, TX, practice can be stressful and overwhelming. There are so many important decisions to be made to ensure the success rate of the procedure, such as whether you should transfer your embryos on day three or day five. Knowing the difference between day 3 vs. day 5 embryo transfer can help you understand why your doctor may elect to transfer your embryo on day 3 or day 5.

At Houston Fertility Center, Dr. Sonja B. Kristiansen will work closely with the embryologist to determine if a day 3 or day 5 transfer is better for the individual patient.

Understanding IVF and Embryo Fertilization

Embryo transfer is the final stage of the IVF process. During IVF, the collected sperm and eggs are combined to create embryos. Over the course of the next few days, our embryologist will evaluate the embryos to check fertilization and the quality of the embryos.

The quality of the embryos will determine whether the embryo transfer takes place on day three or day five. In the past, embryo transfer took place immediately after fertilization, but with the advancements in fertility techniques, doctors can wait longer to transfer to improve the chances of implantation.

Embryo Development

When an embryo begins developing, it starts as a single cell and multiplies every 12 to 24 hours. By day three, the embryo consists of four to eight cells, and by day five, the embryo has considerably increased to 70 to 100 cells. Once an embryo reaches day five, it is referred to as a blastocyst and contains inner cell mass (fetal tissue) and trophoblast cells.

When deciding which embryos to transfer, Dr. Kristiansen and the embryologist will carefully evaluate the embryos to determine which are the healthiest and most qualified. If only one to two embryos have survived after the first 48 hours, it may be best to undergo a day three transfer.

If a greater number of embryos have survived up to day three but the embryologist is unable to identify which ones are the best, Dr. Kristiansen will recommend that the embryos progress to the blastocyst stage. This allows us to determine which embryos have the best chance of resulting in pregnancy. Research has shown that embryos transferred at day five (the blastocyst stage) have a higher implantation rate and higher live birth rate.

Because each patient is unique, Dr. Kristiansen and the team at Houston Fertility Center will work closely with you to determine whether a day three or day five transfer is better suited for you in order to help you have a successful pregnancy. As a board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist Infertility (REI) specialist, Dr. Kristiansen has over 20 years of experience in helping patients successfully achieve their family through fertility treatments.

Contact Us to Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about IVF and embryo transfer, contact us today to schedule your initial consultation. Our team at Houston Fertility Clinic will work closely with you to help you achieve a successful pregnancy.

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