Have you ever heard of the term blastocyst? A blastocyst is an embryo that has developed for five to seven days after fertilization. Moreover, the embryo is divided into two types, namely the trophectoderm and the cell mass in the cavity and the fluid-filled cell cavity (blastocoel cavity).
In ancient times, it might be possible that the fertilization of an egg cell by a sperm cell could only be carried out in a woman’s ovary. However, along with the development of increasingly sophisticated technology, now the process of egg fertilization can be done clinically in the laboratory. This is to help and increase the chances for couples who find it difficult to get offspring naturally.
So what exactly is a blastocyst, what is the process and what is the purpose of this embryo cultivation?
Definition of Blastocyst
A blastocyst is an embryo that is four to nine days after fertilization and consists of 100-200 cells in total and is about 1/10 of a millimetre in diameter. This stage of development is before implantation in the uterus. There are only two types of embryos that develop at this time, namely trophectoderm (placental base) and cell mass (ICM). Later both will contribute cells to the extraembryonic tissue as well as the entire fetus.
For the one who hasn’t known, the embryo, which is between four and seven days old, is shaped like a hollow ball filled with fluid-filled trophectoderm cells where the cell mass will form a slight lump on the inner wall. It is at this stage of development that most of the embryonic stem cells will be obtained.
Blastocyst Cultivation Process
Usually, the fertilized human embryo development will be transferred to the uterus after 48 hours at the 4th – 8th cell stage. In natural fertilization, the embryo reaches the uterine cavity on the fifth day. However, doctors can now cultivate embryos to become blastocysts in the laboratory with increasingly sophisticated technology.
The procedure of culturing blastocysts and transferring 5-day-old embryos facilitates the selection of the best quality embryos for transfer into the mother’s womb. This method of culture and transfer of blastocysts will result in clinical pregnancy, better known as IVF or in vitro fertilization.
This embryo culture technique is very helpful in selecting and assessing the developmental capacity of the embryo to get the best embryo to be implanted or transferred into the mother’s womb. This way, you can select and transfer the best embryos to produce a pregnancy. However, not all human embryos can reach the blastocyst stage. Only blastomeres are of the highest quality that will be able to enter the laboratory and enter the mother’s womb.
The success of blastocyst cultivation depends on the development of media designed to support blastocyst development. One of the main conditions if you want this embryo cultivation to be successful is that the human embryo must change after the first two days of the cultivation period begins.
Purpose of Blastocyst Cultivation
The purpose of blastocyst cultivation is beneficial, especially for couples who have difficulty having children naturally. Below are some of the objectives of human embryo cultivation that you need to know.
- Helping couples who have failed to achieve pregnancy despite three or more transfers with clearly good quality embryos
- Helping couples who are concerned about the risk of multiple pregnancies and only want to have one embryo transferred to the uterus
- Helping couples with eight or more frozen embryos who want to optimize the outcome of the frozen embryo transfer cycle
- Assist couples who have undergone various other therapies and wish to assess the developmental potential of their embryos.
Difference Between Blastocyst Cultivation and Conventional IVF Treatment
Blastocyst cultivation and conventional IVF treatment have no significant differences. The difference is only on the day on which the embryo is transferred. In blastocyst culture, embryos are transmitted on the 5th or 6th day after egg retrieval. However, in conventional IVF treatment, embryo transfer is carried out on day 2 or 3. However, this transfer time may differ depending on how many days the embryo attaches after et and successfully grows into a healthy blastocyst.
You need to know; this embryo cultivation still has the possibility that the embryo cannot develop to the blastocyst stage. The blastocyst transfer will stop if the embryo is unable to develop. It is essential to understand that blastocyst removal is impossible for all IVF patients. Usually, this technique has a greater chance of success for patients who easily have a lot of eggs during retrieval.
On average, patients who had six or more high-quality embryos by day three were the best candidates for this blastocyst culture. At this stage, the trophoblast is already quite well developed and healthy. There is a better chance for the embryo to develop on day five fully.
Patients who cannot perform a blastocyst
Not all couples or patients can perform blastocyst culture. It applies if the embryo is not more than six pieces, then the cultivation process will be less valuable. If this is the case, the chance of having two fully developed blastocysts is very slim. If no embryos develop at this blastocyst stage, then the chances of successful culturing are minimal.
Weaknesses of Blastocyst Cultivation
Although it can be an effort to increase the chances of pregnancy, you also need to know that blastocyst cultivation also has drawbacks, and there may not be a suitable embryo to be transferred to the uterus. If the embryo is not able to reach the blastocyst stage in the laboratory it means that the embryonic development process from the zygote to birth has failed, so embryo transfer cannot be carried out.
Blastocyst cultivation can be an option for couples who have difficulty conceiving or want to produce offspring from the best possible embryos. However, to get to the stage of what a fetus is, there are still many processes that you need to go through. So this cultivation is only to ensure the embryo can live and develop before being transferred to the mother’s womb for the maturation process to develop into a perfect fetus.
So, that’s all the interesting reviews about blastocyst cultivation that you need to know. The development of increasingly high technology has made many things that were previously impossible become possible. With this embryo cultivation, it is hoped that it can help couples to get offspring from quality embryos. However, before choosing to do this method, make sure you first know the advantages and disadvantages, so you don’t regret it. Also, make sure to prepare a lot of money if you want to do this embryo cultivation.