History of Embryo Grading

Embryo grading is the process used to determine the health of a given embryo so that potential mothers will have a better chance of carrying the embryo to full term and delivering a healthy baby. Most often this procedure takes place with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), and the grade or quality of the embryo will help determine how many to place into the mother for the best chances of becoming pregnant.

The Early Techniques of Embryo Grading

Because embryo grading is still relatively young in its trials, the first recorded grading methods are almost identical to the ones used today. Embryo grading has been used since the 1980s, and the first recorded IVF baby that was carried and delivered healthy as a result was in 1987. 

An embryo, which is an egg after fertilization, is studied under a microscope for at least 48 hours and will be examined at least once every 24 hours. They are checked for abnormalities, special qualities and the number of cells, after which they are given a grade or quality rating.  After the embryo receives the quality rating, it will be determined whether or not to go ahead and plant the embryo into the potential carrying mother.

Embryo Grading Today

Throughout time, the grading as well as freezing techniques have improved, however, according to scientists, the methods have remained basically the same. Technology that is currently being developed will most likely change and improve these methods as well in the future.

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