A Day in the Life of the IVF Lab: Egg Fertilization

A Day in the Life of the IVF Lab: Egg Fertilization

Video transcript with Embryologist Beanie W.

Welcome to The Fertility Institute’s IVF lab. My name is Beanie, and I’m one of the embryologists who has the privilege to be part of your fertility journey.

Egg fertilization

What you see here is a fertilized egg. The day after your egg retrieval, you’re going to get a fertilization report, and what it’s going to tell you is if you have normal fertilization occurring with your eggs. And sometimes we will have some abnormal fertilization occurring, and I’m going to show you an example of this today.

Here we have a normally fertilized egg. What we are looking for are these two structures here and here, which are the pronuclei, which indicates that we have fertilization – one pronuclei coming from the egg, and one pronuclei coming from the sperm.

The other condition we can have is abnormal fertilization, which this is an example of here. And you can clearly see here we have three pronuclei, which indicates to us in the lab that abnormal fertilization has occurred. And this abnormally fertilized oocyte will get discarded because it’s genetically abnormal.

So this embryo is a day five blastocyst. It’s nice and expanded. And you can see the actual part of the embryo right here that’s called the inner cell mass. That’s going to make the fetus. And then all of these cells all around the embryo here are called the trophectoderm, and those are the cells that are going to hatch and implant into the lining of the uterus to make the placenta. And you can see this embryo here is actually already starting to hatch out a little bit from the cover of the egg there. So this is a nice expanded or hatching blastocyst on day five.

So here is an image of a fertilized egg. We can see clearly on this egg a pronuclei here, and the pronuclei there, and those are the structures we’re wanting to see that indicate to us that normal fertilization has occurred. Thanks for joining me, and until next time, keep cool – like our embryos.

Learn about infertility

Are you trying to grow your family? The Fertility Institute of New Orleans can help you understand your options and what to expect during treatment.

Treatment & Services