Hi, my name is Sofya and I’m a trainee embryologist here at the Hewitt Fertility Centre.

I have filmed a short clip for you to explain a typical day in the life of an embryologist, where I’m stood in our main embryology lab where the vast majority of our procedures take place, but we also have a separate sperm preparation lab – to prepare sperm samples for treatment, and an isolation lab where we perform treatments for our viral positive patients.

The working conditions of our laboratories are tightly controlled so the environment mimics that of a woman’s body. This is accomplished by many different types of specialised equipment.

So, it’s incredibly important that we start our day by checking all our equipment to ensure everything is working optimally and its safe for us to begin handling gametes and embryos.

Once that’s done, the first clinical procedure is of the day is to check the oocytes from the day before for signs of fertilisation, those that have fertilised will then be placed in our time-lapse incubators for continual monitoring over the next 5/6 todays of their development.

We then move on to a number of other morning tasks:

  • Egg collections which take place in procedure rooms that are directly connected to our lab.
  • Sperm preparations of both patient and donor samples, fresh or frozen, all ready for treatment later that day.
  • Embryo grading will be performed as early as possible each morning too so that the embryos are assessed and graded ready for transfer that day and vitrification.
  • We also prepare and warm embryos that have already been frozen for patients booked in for frozen embryo transfers in the morning so that they have ample time to recover from the procedure ready for transfer.

The lab can feel quite busy in the mornings, especially because most of procedures are really time sensitive. But luckily, I have great group of colleagues who all help each other get the tasks done to make sure everything runs to time.

From lunchtime onwards our jobs include ICSI which are performed at specialised rigs, IVF or inseminations, embryo transfers and embryo vitrification.

Embryo transfers are one of my favourite procedures as it’s an exciting time; after 5 days of waiting (and of course often months or years before that) the patient can see their embryo for the first time. And its lovely to see our patients again to update them on their embryos and have the opportunity to wish them the best for their pregnancy test!

Watch here:


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