Sishu Fertility Clinic

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EGG QUALITY

Why does egg quality play such a key role in IVF success?

The answer ultimately boils down to a simple fact: good eggs produce healthy embryos, and these embryos need to be strong enough to survive early development for a successful pregnancy. 

However, it’s important to acknowledge that grasping the science behind egg and embryo quality can be challenging at times. That’s why we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions to help you gain a better understanding and feel more comfortable with the processes that take place in our laboratory.

HOW IMPORTANT IS A LAB?

We have a strong emphasis on consistently producing top-notch eggs, and achieving this requires both an experienced embryology laboratory and advanced technologies. Our laboratory boasts over 30 years of experience, with a dedicated team of more than 20 embryologists, scientists, and technicians working tirelessly behind the scenes. Through the utilization of cutting-edge technologies and innovative techniques, we aim to optimize the chances of success in fertility.

At Sishu Fertility Clinic, we take pride in being among the select few centers in the country that possess the groundbreaking Embryoscope™. This incredible time-lapse incubator comes equipped with a built-in camera, allowing us to capture continuous snapshots of an embryo’s growth. This technology provides invaluable insights throughout the development process.

Furthermore, our brand-new Minc incubators play a vital role in maximizing the growth potential of our embryos. These incubators have proven to be the primary factor in helping our embryos thrive and reach their full potential.

Overall, our focus is on combining our extensive expertise with state-of-the-art technology to ensure the highest quality eggs and optimize the chances of successful fertility outcomes.

WHAT EXACTLY IS EGG QUALITY?

Egg quality refers to the likelihood of a fertilized egg successfully attaching itself in the womb, and it is influenced in part by the number of eggs a woman has left in her ovaries, known as her ovarian reserve. While age is a factor in determining egg quality, it is not the sole defining factor. 

Additionally, having a larger number of eggs does not always guarantee better quality. Some women may have a limited quantity of eggs but still possess high-quality ones, allowing them to achieve pregnancy through in vitro fertilization (IVF).

HOW DO EGGS BECOME EMBRYOS?

In the body of a healthy woman, a special event takes place every month called ovulation. During this time, the ovaries release a fully developed egg, which then makes its journey from the ovary to the fallopian tube. In the fallopian tube, the egg patiently awaits the arrival of a single sperm to fertilize it. 

Once fertilization occurs, the sperm and egg come together to form an embryo. This transformation into an embryo happens quite rapidly, with the cells dividing every 12 to 14 hours.

CAN YOU IMPROVE EMBRYOS?

In our laboratory at Sishu Fertility Clinic, we utilize a special blend of gases to establish a consistent and nurturing environment for embryo development. By constantly monitoring data from our incubators, we ensure the safety and stability necessary for embryos to flourish. This cutting-edge technology enables us to enhance the quality of embryos and increase the chances of successful fertility outcomes for our patients.

DOES EGG QUALITY MATTER?

Certainly! Eggs and embryos have a strong connection. High-quality eggs are directly linked to high-quality embryos. When the eggs are of good quality, they provide a favorable environment for the embryo to develop and securely attach itself to the uterus. This attachment is crucial for the embryo to continue growing and eventually lead to a successful pregnancy. 

The strength and quality of the embryo play a significant role in its survival during the early stages of development. Therefore, having high-quality eggs and embryos increases the chances of achieving a successful pregnancy. Age is a critical factor in a woman’s ability to produce such high-quality eggs, as this ability tends to decline as she gets older.

HOW IS EGG QUALITY TESTED?

It is a well-established fact that as a woman ages, her ovarian reserve, which refers to the number of eggs in her ovaries, declines. This decline in ovarian reserve is directly related to a decrease in the likelihood of achieving a successful pregnancy.

 Age also affects the quality of eggs. In most thirty-year-old women, only around twelve percent of their eggs have the potential to result in a baby. By the time they reach forty, that number drops to a mere four percent. While it is not possible to test egg quality directly, a woman’s age serves as a reliable predictor or indicator of the quality of her eggs.

WHAT IS A DAY 3 EMBRYO?

A Day 3 embryo refers to the age of the embryo, indicating the number of days since fertilization. When a sperm successfully fertilizes an egg, it starts as a single cell and rapidly divides. After three days of division, we assess the embryo to determine if it has been developing properly and is healthy enough for implantation. 

If the embryo is deemed healthy, it is given two more days to naturally continue its development, allowing it to become stronger and more suitable for successful implantation. However, if the embryo is not expected to grow stronger, it is transferred on Day 3 instead.

WHAT IS A DAY 5 EMBRYO?

By understanding the context, a Day 5 embryo refers to an embryo that has undergone five days of development since fertilization. At this stage, the embryo has progressed significantly, consisting of numerous cells and showing advanced development. This makes it highly suitable for successful implantation, as it can firmly attach to the uterine wall. 

These Day 5 embryos are commonly known as blastocysts and only about one-third of all embryos have the capability to reach this stage of development. It’s worth noting that certain laboratories may face challenges in cultivating embryos until this stage. 

When an embryo reaches the blastocyst stage, it possesses a stronger potential for successful implantation, indicating its superior quality and overall health.

HOW DO WE CHOOSE?

To make informed decisions about which embryos to transfer, it is crucial to closely monitor their development. At Sishu Fertility Clinic, our dedicated team of doctors, scientists, and embryologists carefully observe the embryos in the laboratory. They maintain constant communication to collaboratively determine the most suitable embryo for transfer.

Each group of embryos we encounter possesses its own distinct characteristics. Occasionally, the most optimal embryo stands out right away, while in other cases, it may take a few days of observation to identify the most suitable candidate for transfer.

WHAT IS THE EMBRYO GRADING PROCESS?

“On the initial day, following the fusion of the sperm and egg, a distinctive observation can be made where a solitary enlarged cell reveals the existence of two spherical formations within. This discernible presence of dual formations signifies the successful fertilization of the egg by the sperm.”

The evaluation of embryos up to the third day relies on three primary criteria.

  • Quantifying the number of cells present in the embryo.
  • Ensuring that the number of cells aligns with the corresponding stage of development; for instance, four cells on day 2 and six to eight cells on day 3.
  • Verifying that the cells remain intact without any signs of fragmentation, indicating a favorable quality of the embryo.

Evaluating embryos on the fifth and sixth days involves assessing their quality based on specific criteria.

  • In the early stages of development, the embryo takes on a ball-like shape with a fluid-filled sac inside it.
  • The larger and more expanded the fluid within the embryo, the more optimal it is for growth.
  • Within the embryo, there is a concentrated group of cells in one area that will eventually form the baby.
  • The quality of these cells is determined by their tightness and abundance.
  • The surrounding cells, which are flatter in shape, will go on to form the placenta.
  • Counting the exact number of cells at this stage is challenging, as the embryo typically has more than 50 cells and sometimes even exceeds a hundred.

I HAD AN UNSUCCESSFUL CYCLE. SHOULD I KEEP TRYING?

While age certainly plays a crucial role in the quality of eggs, embryos, and the success rate of pregnancy, it’s important to note that there can be fluctuations from month to month. This means that even if your initial attempt didn’t result in success, there’s still a valid reason to hold onto hope and give it another shot.

WHAT TESTS DO YOU OFFER?

At Sishu Fertility Clinic,  our dedicated team of experts, including embryologists and doctors, continuously strive to enhance your chances of success using advanced tests and procedures. Here are some of the techniques we employ:

Genetic Testing for Single Gene Disorders (PGT-M): Before transferring an IVF embryo to your uterus, we perform PGT-M to identify the presence of specific genetic diseases. This testing helps determine if you and your partner carry any risks of passing on these disorders to your children. By using PGT-M, we can prevent the transmission of such conditions and ensure the health of your future baby.

Screening for Chromosomal Abnormalities (PGS): Instead of focusing on single gene disorders, PGS examines chromosomal abnormalities that may cause birth defects or cognitive impairments. By conducting this test, we improve pregnancy rates and increase the likelihood of delivering healthier babies. Our doctors and embryologists can carefully select embryos with normal chromosomes for implantation, thus optimizing the chances of a successful pregnancy.

Assisted Hatching: Sometimes, embryos may face difficulties in breaking out of their protective shell and implanting in the uterus due to lower metabolic activity. In such cases, our experienced doctors can aid the hatching process. They use a tiny pipette with a mildly acidic solution to create a minuscule opening in the embryo’s shell, allowing it to implant properly.

We are committed to offering you the most advanced techniques and personalized care to maximize your chances of achieving a successful pregnancy and welcoming a healthy baby.