Your IVF Journey

Evaluating Embryo Development

Traditional Embryo Grading Explained

While there are many factors that contribute to a successful live birth, identifying viable embryos for transfer is one of the most important factors.

Your embryologists use a process known as embryo grading to visually determine the quality of embryos during embryo development. Embryo grading is traditionally performed using microscopic observation at set times (usually once or twice a day) to minimise the time embryos spend outside of the controlled environment of an incubator. The assessment is based on visual appearance of the embryos such as the number of cells, symmetry of cells and degree of cell fragments. However, embryo grading by nature is subjective and is based on snap-shots of the embryo at selected times.

Once the embryos are graded and selected, the embryo or embryos are loaded in a soft catheter and transferred into your womb. Embryos can be transferred at different stages of their development:

- Day 2 or 3 (cleavage stage) or
- Day 5 (blastocyst stage).

Cleavage Stage

Day 3 Embryo – Cleavage Stage

Blastocyst Stage

Day 5 Embryo – Blastocyst Stage.