RI Witness program and 24/ 7 monitoring system
Grace is the first in Canada to introduce the RI Witness technology from the UK, a sophisticated system that tracks gametes (eggs and sperm) and embryos throughout the IVF process to further increase gamete and embryo security. In combination with a 24 hour equipment monitoring and alarm system, the Grace Fertility Centre provides world class safeguards and reassurance for patients and practitioners alike.
Following your egg retrieval and sperm preparation, the IVF lab takes over the care of the fertilization, and culturing process until the time of your embryo transfer and or embryo freezing.All the following photographs and videos are from the Grace Fertility Centre labs and represent normal examples.
There is always a range in appearance of eggs and embryos between different people. Eggs and embryos are examined under the microscope and graded according to appearance. This process predicts and gives information about your embryo development.
The grading system serves as a guide as there is always biological variation. i.e. some embryos may not divide well and may not look very good to an embryologist but some of these still can and do result in a pregnancy and live birth.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
ICSI, is shown below with the surrounding ‘supporting nurse cells’ (cumulus) removed and within the needle, a single sperm can be seen half way up the needle ready to be injected inside the egg.
In vitro fertilization(IVF)
An oocyte or egg is seen floating in a petri dish with surrounding sperm Video day 0
18hrs after insemination (the following morning) , the embryos are examined under the microscope to confirm normal fertilization has occurred. This confirmation can only be done at this time. Once the embryo begins to divide the polar bodies cannot be seen. An abnormally fertilized embryo may still develop and maybe result in a pregnancy but it will be abnormal and not continue and therefore this timed fertilization check is very important.
embryo 4 cell
8 cell embryo
The blastocyst is the ideal stage for transfer
One or two embryos will be transferred to your uterus through a catheter on day 3 or day 5 after egg retrieval. The day of the embryo transfer will be decided on day 2 or 3 depending on the number and quality of embryos. A few embryos, up to 50%, will continue developing to blastocyst stage on day 5. Single embryo transfer on day 5 will be done when more than three good quality embryos are available on day 3. The surplus embryos with good quality will be cryopreserved (frozen) with vitrification which ensures up to 96% survival of embryos for future use.