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Estimating limits for natural human embryo mortality

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Publication Date: 2016-12-06

Journal Title: F1000Research

Publisher: F1000 Research

Volume: 5

Number: 2083

Language: English

Type: Article

This Version: VoR

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Citation: Jarvis, G. (2016). Estimating limits for natural human embryo mortality. F1000Research, 5 (2083)

Abstract: Natural human embryonic mortality is generally considered to be high. Values of 70% and higher are widely cited. However, it is difficult to determine accurately owing to an absence of direct data quantifying embryo loss between fertilisation and implantation. The best available data for quantifying pregnancy loss come from three published prospective studies (Wilcox, Zinaman and Wang) with daily cycle by cycle monitoring of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in women attempting to conceive. Declining conception rates cycle by cycle in these studies indicate that a proportion of the study participants were sub-fertile. Hence, estimates of fecundability and pre-implantation embryo mortality obtained from the whole study cohort will inevitably be biased. This new re-analysis of aggregate data from these studies confirms the impression that discrete fertile and sub-fertile sub-cohorts were present. The proportion of sub-fertile women in the three studies was estimated as 28.1% (Wilcox), 22.8% (Zinaman) and 6.0% (Wang). The probability of conceiving an hCG pregnancy (indicating embryo implantation) was, respectively, 43.2%, 38.1% and 46.2% among normally fertile women, and 7.6%, 2.5% and 4.7% among sub-fertile women. Pre-implantation loss is impossible to calculate directly from available data although plausible limits can be estimated. Based on this new analysis and a model for evaluating reproductive success and failure it is proposed that a plausible range for normal human embryo and fetal mortality from fertilisation to birth is 40-60%.


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Rights: Attribution 4.0 International

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Autor: Jarvis, GE



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