ScopeThe decision about which embryos to select for thaw and transfer is critical for Embryologists. On the day of a patient’s embryo transfer, Dr. Cihan Halicigil, Chief Embryologist at Carolinas Fertility Institute (CFI), evaluates and scores the embryos. Scoring is accomplished by a quick visual scan of an embryo that is rotated in culture under a microscope, so that all sides are visible. He selects the embryos that scored the highest among the group he evaluates.

Dr. Halicigil is a Fertility Lab Specialist with decades of experience in his field. His skill enables him to visually assess and decide which embryos survived thaw and are suitable for transfer.

“Microscopic observation reveals the living cells in the embryos that have been warmed. It really only takes a few moments for us to see which thawed embryos are viable for transfer,” said Dr.Halicigil.

With the vitrification freezing technique used in CFI’s high-tech IVF lab, embryos are expected to reappear from the thaw looking as good as they did going in.

When CFI prepares for a frozen embryo transfer cycle, the Lab coordinates with the clinical staff so that the patient’s uterine lining is synchronized with the thawed embryo’s stage of development at the time of transfer. The embryo needs to be ready to implant and the uterus needs to be ready to receive the embryo. The “window of implantation” is only open during a few days in every menstrual or artificial cycle.

When the timing is right, the embryos are removed from storage and warmed. At CFI, the day 5 or day 6 embryo is typically thawed the morning on the actual day of transfer. This is done to give the embryos a few hours to recover and re-expand before the transfer is performed.

It’s important to note, our storage system at CFI has a secure method of identifying the correct embryos. At transfer, our clinic verifies that the right patient is matched to the right embryos.


Carolinas Fertility Institute is a practice with offices in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and a new office opening in Charlotte this summer. The practice specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility. CFI provides advanced reproductive technologies in a comforting, supportive environment to give patients the personal care they deserve.

CFI currently has among the highest IVF success rates in the nation due to a combination of professional talent and the latest technology. CFI has been delighting patients since their opening in March 2015, specializing in highly-personalized treatment and resulting in many first-cycle pregnancies.

The practice accepts most insurance plans and offers a range of options for self-pay patients, including IVF, Donor egg IVF and Fertility Preservation. Patients interested in obtaining additional information about Carolinas Fertility Institute and our services may call 336 448 9100 or visit us at