Day 3 - Embryo Grading

Day 3 - Embryo Grading

How do you do it?

The fertilised eggs should have continued their development and by now they should have formed eight-cell embryos. We will check this on the morning of day 3 using a microscope in the same way we may have done on day two. At this point, we will grade all your embryos according to the same nationally standardised scheme.  Again, remember each embryo is an individual and we don’t expect all of them to be top grade. It is normal to have a mixture of grades. 











If your treatment involves the use of Embryoscope time lapse technology, then we do things a little different. Visit our section on Embryoscope to see how it works and what we do with it.

What should I expect?

We will call you before 10:30 on day three. Depending on how things are going, we will either arrange for an embryo transfer for you the same afternoon or recommend we wait until day five.  Our preference is to wait until day 5 as success rates are higher when transferring day 5 embryos when compared to day 3.  It is now rare for us to recommend a day 3 transfer but if we do we will ensure we explain the rationale for that recommendation.

We base this decision on the number of good quality embryos we have available to you.  The decision is based on careful calculations, our experience, and our aim to ensure we give you the best possible chance of a positive outcome.

If we feel your embryo quality and number is good on day 3, we will recommend we continue with culture for another two days and transfer one or two blastocysts on day five or opt to electively freeze all of the suitable quality blastocysts on day 5 and or day 6.  This extension to culture allows us to track an embryo´s true potential for as long as we can and gives us the best possible chance of a successful treatment outcome.

If we do not think enough embryos are likely to give blastocysts, we will discuss with you the option of embryo transfer on day three. If you are using the Embryoscope incubator you may wish to consider the value that the additional information we will gain from extending culture for a further two days would bring.  There is no right or wrong answer and you are at liberty to decide if a day 3 or day 5 transfer is right for you.  We will take the time to ensure you have all of the information necessary to make an informed decision.  You should be mindful that in a small number of cases embryos do not thrive and there may be no embryos to transfer or freeze on day 5 because the embryos have not survived in culture.  In such cases, had the embryos been transferred on day 3 it is very likely that the outcome would be the same, it would just have happened inside your body and we would never have known.