Local and systemic factors and implantation: what is the evidence?

Fertil Steril. 2016 Apr;105(4):873-84. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.02.018. Epub 2016 Mar 3.


Significant progress has been made in the understanding of embryonic competence and endometrial receptivity since the inception of assisted reproductive technology. The endometrium is a highly dynamic tissue that plays a crucial role in the establishment and maintenance of normal pregnancy. In response to steroid sex hormones, the endometrium undergoes marked changes during the menstrual cycle that are critical for acceptance of the nascent embryo. There is also a wide body of literature on systemic factors that impact assisted reproductive technology outcomes. Patient prognosis is impacted by an array of factors that tip the scales in her favor or against success. Recognizing the local and systemic factors will allow clinicians to better understand and optimize the maternal environment at the time of implantation. This review will address the current literature on endometrial and systemic factors related to impaired implantation and highlight recent advances in this area of reproductive medicine.

Keywords: Endometrium; IVF; immune factors; implantation; thyroid; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryo Implantation / physiology*
  • Endometriosis / complications
  • Endometriosis / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted* / trends
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects