Early Pregnancy Factor (EPF)
Definition - What does Early Pregnancy Factor (EPF) mean?
Early pregnancy factor (EPF) is an immunosuppressant that helps prevent a woman’s body from viewing an early pregnancy as a foreign invader and destroying it.
EPF is thought to be one of the earliest available pregnancy indicators, detectable in blood plasma as early as 24 hours after ovulation. However, EPF is not currently used for standard pregnancy testing.
FertilitySmarts explains Early Pregnancy Factor (EPF)
Following ovulation, an egg’s lifespan is 12-24 hours long. In order to conceive, sperm must be present while the egg is viable. Once fertilization has occurred, the product becomes known as a zygote.
It is theorized that the zygote relays its presence to the ovaries, which in turn release EPF as the zygote travels through the fallopian tubes towards the uterus.
The test used to evaluate levels of EPF is called the rosette inhibition assay. However, it requires a significant amount of highly technical equipment and labor. Therefore, it is too demanding and expensive for routine pregnancy testing.
- A study of early pregnancy factor activity in preimplantation. (1997).
- Pregnancy: The first month. (2009).
- Immunohistochemical distribution of early pregnancy factor in ovary, oviduct and placenta of pregnant gilts. Immunohistochemical distribution of early pregnancy factor in ovary, oviduct and placenta of pregnant gilts,