Should you do a Day 3 or a Day 5 transfer if you only have
a single embryo ?
If you have lots of
embryos, then it makes sense to grow them up to Day 5 ( blastocyst stage) because
the embryologist can then select the ones which are growing the best , and
transfer these, to maximise your chances of implantation.
Suppose you only have a single embryo on Day 3?
Should you transfer on Day 3 ? Or should be willing to wait till day five? Now,
this is a dilemma, because if you wait till Day 5 and it arrests in the lab, you'll
have no embryos to transfer. Many patients
- and doctors - will say, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the
bush," so we might as well put it back inside the uterus , even though the
uterus may not be the best place for a Day 3 embryo. After all, why take a
chance? And if it's going to implant, it may very well do that.
is especially true for poor quality IVF clinics, which aren't very sure about
their laboratory conditions, and don't want to take a risk . They want to
transfer the embryo back into the uterus as quickly as possible , because this
way they can tell the patient, "Well, we transferred an embryo , which
means we did our best. And if it didn't implant, that's your bad luck."
However , if you have the courage, you should be willing
to wait till Day 5. If it develops to a blastocyst in vitro, it has a better
chance of implanting. And if it is going to arrest, I feel it's better it does
so in the lab for the following reasons.
1. This spares you the agonising 2 week wait , and you
don't have to live in unnecessary suspense and uncertainty. False hope can be
2. While this option causes short term pain, it helps you
make more intelligent decisions about what to do in your future IVF cycles .
Thus, it's easier to come to terms with the fact that you maybe better off
using donor eggs, rather than trying IVF again and again with your own eggs.