What we learned from extended culture of 'rejected' day-3 cleavage stage embryos: A prospective cohort study

Anat Hershko Klement*, Michal Ovadia, Amir Wiser, Arie Berkovitz, Tal Shavit, Luba Nemerovsky, Yehudith Ghetler, Ilan Cohen, Adrian Shulman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To test whether poor quality day-3 embryos can undergo successful blastulation and implantation. Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted. Whether or not a good quality embryo was transferred on day-3, poor quality (rejected) embryos were further cultured and followed. The clinical outcome of each embryo was assessed. Results: A total of 694 rejected embryos (from 205 patients) were included, with a blastulation rate of 21.2% (147 embryos) compared to 64.2% general blastulation rate reported by our laboratory (P < 0.01). In a multivariate logistic regression model, only their grade on day-3 significantly affected blastulation (P = 0.01). A total of 97 embryos attained eligibility for fresh transfer or cryopreservation, only 6 of which resulted from a day-3 embryo scored < 2. Of these, 52 were transferred, resulting in 21 pregnancies (16 clinical and 5 chemical). In summary, 694 cultured embryos yielded 16 clinical pregnancies; a 2.3% clinical pregnancy rate. Conclusions: Low score day-3 embryos can result in successful blastulation and clinical pregnancies. However, the normal blastulation rate is poor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalJournal of Ovarian Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 16 May 2017


  • Blastocyst
  • Embryo culture techniques
  • Embryo implantation
  • Embryo transfer


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