Dr. Jay Mehta is a Gynecologist, Obstetrician & Infertility Specialist in Shree IVF Clinic, Mumbai. With his help, you will get to know about Embryo Culture & Incubation, which is an IVF laboratory procedure and gives detailed information about Embryo Culture Stages.

Embryo Culture & Incubation

After egg collection, it is decided whether the patient will have to do IVF, ICSI, or IMSI. After IVF, ICSI, or IMSI, this fertilized egg and sperm called zygote is placed in an incubator. The incubator is very important for embryo culture. The job of an incubator in an IVF laboratory procedure is to provide a stable environment for embryo development in IVF.

After IVF, when the embryo is kept in an incubator, the embryo is closely monitored as it has a fixed timeline in which mitotic division is visible. In this stage, it is observed that the cell doubles itself with a timeline of approx. 26 hours, then 45 to 48 hours, and so on. These embryo development timelines are very important to determine how many embryos are of good quality or not, or how many embryos are not viable.

It is checked at 108 -120 hours whether they become Embryos, Blastocysts or not. If seen according to the day, on the 3rd day there is an embryo division of 8 cells, it is examined and on the 5th day, it is checked whether it is a blastocyst or not. The same process happens in the human body as well, because during the first five days of the journey, the cell is in the fallopian tube, and further when it converts in blastocysts, it enters the uterus. Therefore, the blastocyst culture stage on day 5 is very important.

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Embryo Culture Media

A lot of difficulties can come in reaching the embryo from 1 Cell to 100 Cells and various conditions are dependent on it. Embryo requires Embryo Culture Media to grow. Embryo culture media provides the nutritional environment for the growing embryo which enters the blastocyst phase.

Important factors for Embryo Culture

  • Culture Media’s stability and good quality culture are important.
  • The use of a high-quality incubator is very important.
  • Embryo development timelines are also very important.

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Embryo Processing

In this last process, Embryo is frozen which is called Embryo freezing or Embryo Transfer (the embryo is placed in the uterus). To elaborate, let’s assume that there are 10 eggs, and among these 10 the good quality egg is used for the IVF procedure, then it is very important to understand that not all embryos reach the blastocyst phase. Of all the embryos created, 30 –40% reach the blastocyst phase.

Now the question arises that what happens to the leftover embryos. Known as the Theory of natural selection, the embryo is stopped in the middle to avoid it from reaching the blastocysts. No scientific reason has been discovered behind this. Further, there is no such witnessing behind the usage of all the 10 embryos. But the research is in process, though it cannot be predicted whether the research will be fruitful.

To conclude, it is very important for you to keep in mind the fact that among 10 eggs, only 3 or 4 good eggs will be used for further procedures. Embryo Culture & Incubation after this IVF laboratory procedure, the embryo is frozen or transferred.

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Dr. Jay Mehta Fertility and IVF Specialist In Mumbai

Dr. Jay Mehta

Fertility and IVF Specialist


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Dr. Jay Mehta is the Scientific Director of Shree IVF Clinic. He is a well-known Fertility and IVF Specialist and also among few doctors in the country who specializes in Embryology and Andrology.

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