Embryo Grading

Embryo Grading Is One Way Embryologists Help Promote IVF Success

When it comes to in vitro fertilization (IVF), every step involves careful planning and thought. From the fertility medication protocol that your physician prescribes to the monitoring that occurs in the IVF laboratory, an entire team of experts is working together to help you have a healthy baby. Speaking of the lab, one of the most important keys to IVF success occurs there: embryo grading.

Experience Matters When It Comes to Embryo Grading

In the simplest terms, embryo grading involves assessing each IVF embryo and grading it based on how it’s developing in the laboratory. This information can help your doctor determine which embryos are the most likely to implant and develop into a healthy baby.

It’s important that the embryologist who is grading the embryo knows what to look for. After all, to the untrained eye, it can be hard to see the difference between a high-quality embryo and one that is unlikely to develop into a baby.

The Ovation® embryologists have extensive experience with embryo grading and have advanced tools, such as high-powered microscopes, to accurately assess each IVF embryo. As they make their assessment, they rely on several factors to determine the grade of an embryo.

  • Blastocyst stage refers to whether a Day 5 embryo is expanding, hatching or hatched.
  • Inner cell mass (ICM) quality refers to the quality of the area that will become a baby. The embryologist will grade the ICM as good, fair or poor.
  • Trophectoderm quality refers to the quality of what will become the placenta. Embryologists will also assign a grade that ranges from good, to fair or poor.

The goal is to transfer the embryo with the best quality. As a result, embryo grading is a very helpful tool when a physician is trying to determine which embryo to transfer.

Genetic Testing Can Tell Us What’s Happening Inside the Embryo

It’s important to note that embryo grading is subjective and based on the experience of many embryologists who have collectively looked at millions of embryos. However, sometimes poor-quality embryos can develop into a healthy pregnancy, while high-quality ones do not. This is due in large part to the fact that embryo grading is only based on the outside of an embryo.

If you want to learn more about the inside, or what an embryo’s genetics look like, you’ll want to ask your physician about preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). There are several forms of PGT that can provide different information about your embryos, and your doctor can help you decide which one is right for you. Regardless of which test you select; you can find it at Ovation.

If you have more questions about conceiving with IVF, please contact an Ovation partner physician today.