Early Pregnancy Factor (EPF)

Definition - What does Early Pregnancy Factor (EPF) mean?

Early pregnancy factor (EPF) is a substance found in the body within 48 hours of fertilization. EPF is an immunosuppressant, which aids in preventing a woman’s body from viewing the pregnancy as a foreign invader and destroying it. EPF is thought to be one of the earliest available pregnancy indicators, 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 introduced in that time. Once fertilization has occurred, the product becomes known as a zygote. It is theorized that the zygote relays it's presence to the ovaries, which in turn release EPF as the zygote travels through the fallopian tubes towards the uterus.

The test currently used to evaluate levels of EPF is called the rosette inhibition test. However, it requires a significant amount of highly technical equipment and labor. Therefore, it is too demanding and expensive for routine pregnancy testing.

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