The Fertility Center of Las Vegas

FCLV walks you through what happens in the IVF lab

The IVF laboratory can seem like a mysterious place to women and men who visit our Las Vegas fertility center. Patients often wonder what happens in the IVF lab, so our team wants to provide answers and peace of mind.

Fertilization in the IVF laboratory is an important step of the process and each day something new is happening. The Fertility Center of Las Vegas (FCLV) team is going to walk you through what happens in the IVF lab each day.

Sperm, eggs and embryos – What happens in the IVF lab

What happens in the IVF lab depends on what day it is for your sperm, eggs and embryos. Our Las Vegas fertility center team sticks to a careful and precise schedule for each IVF cycle.

  • Day 0 is the day of egg retrieval. We perform intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to fertilize the eggs by injecting a single sperm into each of them. This procedure helps bypass many barriers to fertilization.
  • Day 1 is when our embryologists check to see how many eggs have fertilized normally. In the fertilized eggs, they look to see how many have two pronuclei (2PN), which is normal. In contrast, having one (1PN) or three (3PN) is abnormal.
  • Day 2 is a day for the embryos to rest.
  • Day 3 is when the embryologists change the culture media, which is the fluid where the embryos grow and develop. They also make sure each embryo is dividing properly and symmetrically. If they are doing a biopsy for preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), they will hatch the embryos on this day.
  • Day 4 is another day of rest for the embryos.
  • Days 5, 6 and 7 are when embryo grading occurs. The embryologists grade the development of each embryo and grade the quality of the inner cell mass (what will become the baby) and the trophectoderm (what will become the placenta).

What happens in the IVF lab after day 7?

Because FCLV most commonly performs frozen embryo transfers, our embryologists will freeze embryos with an A or B grade. Our Las Vegas fertility center will only freeze these embryos because they are the most likely to develop into healthy babies.

When the female patient’s body has had a chance to return to normal after taking the fertility medications for IVF, we will schedule an embryo transfer. Before the transfer, our embryologists will thaw an embryo to prepare for the procedure. During embryo transfer, one of our fertility doctors will transfer a single healthy embryo to the intended mother’s uterus during an outpatient procedure.

Contact us if you would like more information about what happens in the IVF lab and what to expect during your IVF cycle. We are here to guide you on your fertility journey.