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Blastocyst transfer („extended incubation“)

Through cultivation of fertilized egg cells until the development stage, which is called blastocyst (day 4 to 6 after the egg cell retrieval), an attempt is made to identify embryos that possess the best capacity for nidation hoping this way to increase treatment success of fertility therapy with the help of IVF or IVF/ICSI. The previous examination results do not surely prove that so-called blastocyst transfer is a procedure that increases chances for success in all patients. In addition to poor data records, there is no practical alternative to the embryo culture in Germany until day 5/6, since according to the German Embryo Protection Act, only two to three embryos can be allowed to reach development stage, and therefore selection of embryos, which this technique requires, is prohibited. A change in the professional code of conduct for medical doctors is under preparation. If it comes into effect, the success chances of the IVF or ICSI can be increased.

In the Fertility Centre of Mainz so-called PN-Scoring takes place on day 1 after the egg cell retrieval. The female and male “pronucleuses” undergo a thorough microscopic analysis. This way it is possible to identify those fertilized egg cells that have the highest developmental potential. Then these egg cells can be placed into an extended incubation in compliance with the German Embryo Protection Act.


Upon request of the couple, the blastocyst culture can be carried out in the Mainz Fertility Centre in compliance with the German Embryo Protection Act. This involves additional expenses for the couple since insurance companies do not reimburse these costs.