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'Entrance Exam' To Determine Pregnancy Success

Update Date: Feb 07, 2014 09:40 AM EST

A unique 'entrance exam' has been discovered by the scientists, set by the womb, that determines if the implantation of an embryo was successful. The discovery might prove to be a potential milestone for advances in pregnancy treatments. 

The study sheds on how the lining of the womb analyzes every embryos and subsequently decides the support for further development. 

Prior to implantation the human embryos are genetically diverse and in some of them the normal cells might be absent. For the same reason, no two human embryos are same at this early stage of development. 

"This is important, because if the lining of the womb is not well prepared for pregnancy you may find that abnormal embryos will implant or high quality embryos will not be supported. Both scenarios can lead to pregnancy loss or even late pregnancy complications, such as foetal growth restriction or preterm birth," explained Professor Jan Brosens of Warwick Medical School in the press release. 

"Speaking in terms of an entrance exam; a poorly prepared womb will either make the test too rigorous or too lax - decreasing the chances of a successful pregnancy."

The study noted that high quality human embryos secreted a chemical called trypsin that renders the lining of the womb supportive of implantation. The chemical signal is sometimes deregulated in low quality embryos causing an alarm response in the womb. The either leads to rescue or even elimination of the embryo. 

"This work adds to a growing body of evidence that assessment and optimisation of the lining of the womb may be the only effective way in preventing infertility and pregnancy complications," said professor Siobhan Quenby.

"What we're looking at now is how to alter the lining of the womb so it can set this entrance exam at the right level and prevent implantation failure and miscarriages," added professor Brosens in the press release.

The study is published in the Scientific Reports

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