Embryo selection is a crucial stage of infertility treatment, on which the success of the treatment largely depends.
Within the last decade, assisted reproduction techniques have made great strides, improving every stage of the infertility treatment process. From sample collection to embryo transfer and subsequent implantation of the embryo, allowing the birth of a healthy child.
The best embryo is selected by our embryology team. For this purpose, embryo development is monitored daily. The embryos selected for transfer have the highest probability of implantation.
Selecting the best embryo: this is how it’s done
To select the best embryo, embryologists make decisions based on the following criteria:
- Morphology (number and appearance of cells)
- Kinetics (division rate)
- Genetics (chromosome composition)
Thanks to advances in technology, the tools available to embryologists to make the best embryo selection have improved significantly and implantation rates and the number of healthy births, therefore have increased as well.
Furthermore, selection by morphology and kinetics has improved and made much easier by the use of time-lapse technology, which we also offer in our clinic’s laboratory.
Incubators with Time-lapse technology
As mentioned above, time-lapse monitoring of embryo development is crucial for the selection of the best embryos. This technique, in contrast to traditional monitoring where embryos were periodically observed under the microscope, thus altering the continuity of their culture. Allows the embryo’s development to be followed visually without changing the incubation conditions.
The combination of the monitoring in time-lapse incubators and the evaluation by the embryology team helps us to determine which embryos have the best chances to implant and result in pregnancy.
The success of the treatments and also the number of implantations and healthy births has been considerably improved by the possibility of selecting embryos for transfer according to objective criteria.
The importance of genetics in Embryo Selection
Furthermore, at IVF-Spain Madrid we use advanced techniques with preimplantation genetic testing, also known as PGT-A (Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy), for embryo selection according to genetic criteria.
In our clinic, we apply our own procedure for the genetic diagnosis of embryos. The aim of this genetic diagnosis is to accurately detect possible alterations in the 23 pairs of chromosomes. Therefore, this genetic test is a significant aid in selecting embryos that are free of chromosomal alterations. Allowing us to significantly increase the birth rate.
Although an aneuploid embryo (with chromosomal alterations) can still implant correctly, these cases often result in miscarriages. By performing embryo selection using PGT-A, we are able to increase the implantation rate. Make sure that the embryo does not have any chromosomal changes that could prevent it from further development.
In most European clinics, the extraction of cells for future analysis is usually performed on day 3 of embryonic development. However, this can have a negative impact on the viability of the embryo. As its cell count is still very low and the cells are not yet differentiated. This can also make the diagnosis less reliable.
Around day 5, the cells of the embryo have separated and formed two cell masses. One is the inner cell mass (the embryoblast) that will develop into the baby and the other is the trophoectoderm that will form the placenta. At IVF-Spain Madrid we perform a biopsy of the trophoectoderm. This allows us to minimise the risk to the embryo.
To summarize: a genetic diagnosis is performed by means of an embryo biopsy. In which some cells are taken from the developing embryo (on the 5th day of its development) and the genetic material extracted from the inside of these cells is analysed for its chromosonal characteristics.
Why selecting the best Embryo Selection is so important
Doctors as well as embryologists recommend not transferring more than one embryo, as a possible twin pregnancy can cause complications for both the mother and the child. Such as premature birth or delayed intrauterine growth.
By developing treatments specifically geared to our patients and implementing state-of-the art techniques, such as our advanced embryo selection process. We have managed to distinguish ourselves from other fertility clinics and specialise in difficult cases.
In order not to put any more strain on the future parents and to finally fulfil their dream of having their own child. We never lose sight of our goal: to achieve pregnancy with as few attempts as possible.
If you would like more information about embryo selection or other advanced technologies that IVF-Spain Madrid offers, do not hesitate to contact us here.