Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 321–329 | Cite as

Improvement of pregnancy outcome by extending embryo culture in IVF-ET during clinical application

  • Xiaopeng Zhao
  • Binbin Ma
  • Shaokang Mo
  • Lu Ma
  • Fei Chang
  • Liyuan Zhang
  • Fang Xu
  • Ling Wang
Assisted Reproduction Technologies



The purpose of this study is to investigate the application value of the extended embryo culture for 7–8 h in day 3 morning during IVF-ET process.


Embryos were retrospectively assessed during 08:00–09:00 on the morning of day 3 in the control group, and were assessed once again at 16:00 in the afternoon in the extended culture (EC) group. The embryos with good developmental potential were preferentially selected to transfer. The cumulative pregnancy outcomes were analyzed in one oocyte retrieval cycle.


Similar proportions were found in the rates of cumulative clinical pregnancy, cumulative live birth, and the perinatal/neonatal outcomes per oocyte retrieval cycle (P > 0.05). But higher total clinical pregnancy rate, higher total implantation rate, and lower total abortion rate were obtained in the EC group (P < 0.05). After EC, 53.58% of the embryos were able to continue to develop. The transferred embryos were mainly composed of ≥ 8-cell embryos (75.90%) in the EC group and ≤ 8-cell embryos (82.92%) in the control group. Interestingly, the implantation rates were increasingly improved with the increasing blastomere number up to 56.31% at the morula stage in the EC group, while they were limited to 32.33% at 8-cell stage in the control group.


The extended culture of day 3 embryos for 7–8 h not only reduced the risk of IVF-ET treatment compared to blastocyst culture through another 2–3 days, but also improved the clinical outcomes and the efficiency of every transferred cycle and every transferred embryo.


Extended culture Pregnancy outcome IVF-ET 



We greatly appreciate and thank Professor Yuanqing Yao, from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, for his comments and revision of the manuscript.


This study was funded by the medical scientific research project of Lanzhou Military Region (project number: CLZ14JB08).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10815_2017_1065_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (16 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 15 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Reproductive Medical CenterGeneral Hospital of Lanzhou Military RegionLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Reproduction and GeneticsNingxia Medical UniversityYinchuanChina
  3. 3.School of Life Sciences of BiotechnologyShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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