Our Laboratory

The expertise of the embryology laboratory is a critical component of any successful fertility program. The UCSF Center for Reproductive Health embryology lab, one of the top performing labs in the nation for fertility services, certified by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), CLIA - a governmental regulatory agency, and the California Tissue Bank, and registered with the Food and Drug Administration incorporates the most advanced state-of-the-art equipment and laboratory air filtration system to nurture healthy embryos. 

Our staff, certified in embryology and andrology (male evaluation) by the American Board of Bioanalysts, respect and care for each embryo in the laboratory to ensure the best outcomes possible.  Additionally, we employ high ethical standards and transparency so you are fully aware of the care of your eggs, sperm and embryos at all times.


ICSI stands for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, in which a single sperm is selected and injected into the egg to overcome fertilization failure.  The egg is held still with gentle suction while the sperm is injected using a special needle.

Assisted hatching is a procedure used for patients who are either older (females), have elevated basal follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, or have had failed multiple IVF cycles. An opening on the zona pellucida (egg shell) is made using a laser beam to assist embryos to hatch prior to implantation in the uterus.

Embryo biopsy is a procedure that is part of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). To achieve genetic diagnosis for each embryo, one cell from the day 3 embryo is removed gently and sent to our embryology lab for genetic testing.


Embryo Development

Day 1 - Fertilized EggDay 1

Fertilized Egg

Day 2Day 2


Day 3



Day 4Day 4



Day 5


Day 6Day 6