Implantation of Human Blastocysts Following in Vitro Fertilisation

  • Virginia N. Bolton
Part of the Reproductive Biology book series (RBIO)


There have been a number of advances in therapeutic in vitro fertilisation (IVF) since the first live birth resulted from this form of treatment in 1978 (Steptoe and Edwards 1978). The most notable have been clinical rather than scientific, and include the introduction of the use of LHRH analogues (Fleming et al., 1982; Porter et al., 1984), and the use of vaginal ultrasound both for monitoring of ovarian response to superovulation (Popp et al., 1985), and oocyte retrieval (Wikland et al., 1985). However, these technical advances have resulted in only moderate improvements in the rate of successful pregnancy following treatment (Figure 1). Thus, data from all the centres practising IVF in the UK shows that while there has been a slight increase in the live birth rate per treatment cycle between 1985 and 1991, from 9% to 13%, this can be accounted for almost entirely by the reduction in cancelled cycles due to the use of LHRH analogues (Tan et al., 1993). Indeed, data from our unit illustrate clearly that only 6% of cycles are abandoned before oocyte retrieval, and that the majority (72%) proceed to embryo transfer (ET). It is after ET that the failure of IVF is manifested, with only 14% of cycles in our centre resulting in successful pregnancy (Figure 2).


Embryo Transfer Follicular Fluid Human Embryo Zona Pellucida Blastocyst Stage 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginia N. Bolton
    • 1
  1. 1.Assisted Conception Unit Department of ObstetricsGynaecology King’s College School of Medicine & DentistryLondonUK

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