Does female age affect embryo morphology?

I. Bar-Hava, A. Ferber, J. Ashkenazi, R. Orvieto, B. Kaplan, J. Bar, D. Peleg, Z. Ben-Rafael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deteriorating oocyte quality is commonly believed to be the primary determinant of the decreased implantation potential in older women. We assessed the influence of age on embryo morphology in standard in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) modalities. All 6350 consecutive embryos (2990 IVF, 3360 ICSI) obtained in our Assisted Reproductive Technology Unit from January 1996 through June 1997 were included. High quality embryos were defined as those with equal-sized blastomeres and < 10 fragmentations and a cleavage rate of four cells on day 2 or eight cells on day 3 transfers. The results were analyzed for the standard IVF group, the ICSI group, and the ICSI subgroup with severe male factor infertility (≤ 1 x 106 total motile spermatozoa in the ejaculate). For standard IVF, a positive association was observed between female age and increased proportion of good quality embryos. No such association was detected for the ICSI cycles (whole group or subgroup). We conclude that in standard IVF, embryo quality, as reflected by embryo morphology, does not deteriorate with increased maternal age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-374
Number of pages4
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999


  • Age
  • Embryo morphology
  • ICSI
  • IVF


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