Embryo grading is one of the many bridges to be crossed through one’s IVF journey. Becoming well-informed about embryo grading will help make your upcoming IVF trek easier. Embryologists steadfastly observe embryos culturing in vitro in order to make accurate assessments of their development and – most importantly – quality.
Embryo Grading Expertise
From a cell – to a newborn baby – embryology is the branch of biology and medicine focused on the study of an embryo.
- From the point of fertilization
- Throughout development
- To the fetus stage
The artful practice of embryology is key to an IVF pregnancy success.
- Assisting in the surgical retrieval of a woman’s eggs
- Performing post-surgical retrieval tests on eggs
- Performing in vitro tests on embryos
- Maintaining patient clinical records
Embryologists give careful attention to nurturing quality embryos as they develop in vitro.
Only quality embryos are transferred to the patient’s uterus.
- Quality embryos have the highest chance of implantation into a woman’s uterine lining
- Quality embryos thrive into a fetus
- Quality embryos have the best chance of achieving a full-term, healthy pregnancy and live birth
Day Three Embryo Grading
If you have three-day embryos, you’ve passed the egg follicle growth, surgical retrieval, and fertilization stages. Three-day embryos culturing in vitro are observed and graded for the first time. This is the cleavage stage of development – when the cells inside the embryos are dividing, but not growing.
On Day Three, embryologists use a high-powered microscope to observe the morphology – structure – of the embryos.
- Number of cells in each embryo
- Appearance of the embryo
Number of Cells
An embryo that is dividing well should optimally have between six to 10 cells by Day Three – eight is ideal. Quality Day Three embryos having eight or more cells have a very high chance of pregnancy and live birth success.
- Less than 20 percent fragmentation – the loss of cell content (cytoplasm)
- Sufficient compaction for the next stage – blastocyst (Day Five)
- Cytoplasmic pitting – depressions in the cell’s content
- Vacuoles – fluid-filled pockets in cell’s content
Day Five Embryo Grading
This is the blastocyst stage of development. Quality embryos on Day Five are transferred to the patient’s uterus – or – cryopreserved for future Frozen Embryo Transfers (FETs).
On Day Five Embryologists look for:
The amount that the blastocyst has expanded as the cavity becomes fluid-filled. Grades range from one to six – six being the most preferred development.
The quality of the ICM – forms the fetus. Grades range from A to C – with A being the best quality.
The quality of the TE – forms the placenta and pregnancy-related tissue. Grades rage from A to C – with A being the best quality.
Embryo Grading End Result
An example of a high quality embryo – 6AA.
- Preferred development – 6
- ICM cells – A
- TE cells – A
Embryo Grading Expertise in Chicago
At his beautiful Chicagoland Hoffman Estates IL location, Dr. Laurence A. Jacobs offers cutting-edge embryo grading in conjunction with IVF.
- Genetic Testing and Gender Selection in conjunction with IVF
- Egg Donor & Gestational Carrier IVF cycles
- Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) procedures
- Cryopreservation – Oocyte (egg), Embryo, Sperm
Click here to schedule your New Patient Telemedicine Consultation via Zoom with Dr. Jacobs – or call 888.325.7389.