Egg quality makes all the difference when it comes to IVF success
Both quality and quantity matter when it comes to eggs, but how does our Las Vegas fertility clinic assess egg quality? It can be easy to determine how many eggs resulted from an egg retrieval, but determining their quality takes a little more work.
Our embryologists work behind the scenes in our IVF laboratory to make sure that egg freezing and fertility treatments like IVF are a success. Grading egg quality is one of the ways that these dedicated professionals make this happen.
How do embryologists determine egg maturity?
During the egg retrieval procedure at our Las Vegas fertility clinic, the embryologists find the eggs under the stereoscope and prepare them for culture and insemination. First, they remove the cumulus cells that surround the eggs. They place the eggs in the best environment for their continuous development, maintaining an appropriate temperature and pH. Once the team can get a clear look at the eggs, they can start grading them and determining their stage of development.
To assess egg quality, embryologists start by looking at the maturity of each egg. There are three different stages at the time of egg retrieval.
- Metaphase 2 (M2). This egg has extruded a polar body, is mature, and ready for fertilization or cryopreservation. This is the best maturity grade an egg can receive. The majority of eggs collected during a retrieval should be in this category.
- Metaphase 1 (M1). This egg has not matured yet. Sometimes, M1 eggs will mature after a couple of hours in culture, but they may not be as high quality as eggs that were already mature.
- Geminal vesicle (GV). This is an immature egg. Our team would not freeze or fertilize this egg in an IVF cycle.
How do embryologists determine egg quality?
Our Las Vegas fertility clinic prefers to only freeze or fertilize M2 eggs. To ensure that the eggs are healthy and likely to fertilize, our embryologists will reassess the maturity and quality of each egg just before fertilization in the IVF lab. During the fertilization process of each egg by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), embryologists record special notes when they observe unusual characteristics or elements in the oocytes.
If you have more questions about how we grade the quality of eggs, contact us to schedule an appointment. We provide an Oasis of Hope for women and men who want to preserve their fertility and grow their families.