To maximize the chances of pregnancy during assisted reproduction treatment, it is important to be able to identify embryos with high implantation potential. Embryos whcih divide more quickly following insemination have been shown to produce higher pregnancy and implantation rates than those which divide later. The aim of this study was to compare the developmental potential of early cleaving embryos with those in which the pronuclear membranes had broken down at the time of scoring. Normally fertilized zygotes (n = 2447) were assessed 25-27 h post-insemination and categorized according to developmental stage (pronuclei visible, no pronuclei, or early cleavage to two cells). Pregnancy and implantation rates were assessed in cycles where embryos selected for transfer were at an equivalent stage 25-27 h post-insemination. A significantly higher implantation rate was achieved following transfer of either early cleavage embryos or those which had no pronuclei compared with embryos with contact pronuclei when assessed 25-27 h post-insemination/microinjection. The correlation between early cleavage and an improved pregnancy and implantation rate was confirmed. Scoring for the presence of early cleavage or status of pronuclei is quick and objective and provides information that may used to discriminate between morphologically equivalent embryos at a later stage in development.
Wharf, E., Dimitrakopoulos, A., Khalaf, Y., & Pickering, S. (2004). Early embryo development is an idicator of implantation potential. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 8(2), 212–218. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1472-6483(10)60518-4