Embryo Fragmentation

Definition - What does Embryo Fragmentation mean?

Embryo fragmentation occurs when a part of the embryo's cells have broken off and are now separate from the portion of the cell containing the nucleus. These fragments are no longer useful to the embryo. Fragmentation is quite common in human embryos. However, if more than 25% of the embryo is fragmented, it is unlikely to successfully implant in the uterine wall and result in a successful pregnancy.

Embryo fragmentation is also called blebbing.

FertilitySmarts explains Embryo Fragmentation

When an embryo is dividing, it sometimes does so unevenly causing portions of the cell to become separated from the nucleus. These fragments serve no function to the embryo. The more fragments and embryo has, the less likely it will result in a successful pregnancy.

Fragmentation can occur in either naturally conceived embryos or those produced by in vitro fertilization (IVF). Fragmentation usually results from a defect in the egg and will be present in each cycle of IVF.

Because of its impact on the success of implantation, fragmentation is an important consideration when grading an embryo. Grading an embryo involves evaluating a set of characteristics to determine which embryos have the best chance of producing a successful pregnancy. Embryos that are highly fragmented will be poorly graded and are unlikely to be used for transfer.

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