We have made a discovery about the beginning of life!!! Moreover, it has been presented at the Congress of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Vienna, 2019.
We have assessed that embryos have the capacity to self-repair from the second day of life.
In order to explain you this I have to tell you about something beforehand:
In IVF treatments, the embryos are classified following guidelines based on their appearance and the way they develop. In this way, only those considered to have a better prognosis for implanting and continue evolving are transferred to the patient.
Nowadays, it is considered optimal for an embryo to have four cells on the second day of life and eight cells on the third one. There are embryos that, suddenly, on the second or third day make one of their cells disappear, from the current four to three and, afterwards, they keep dividing as if nothing had happened. Have a look at this video:
To date this phenomenon, known as reverse cleavage, was considered a sign of bad prognosis and, because of this, the evaluation of the embryo was considerably reduced.
With the currently established rules, embryos that do not follow the guidelines are considered to have less chances of developing. In this sense, Institut Marquès is reassessing such guidelines and showing that many of the standard criteria are wrong.
This discovery has been possible thanks to Embryoscope, embryo incubators that have a video camera attached that films the development of the embryos.
Institut Marquès has carried out a retrospective study of the development video of 23340 embryos, from their fertilisation to the blastocyst stage. In 303 of the studied embryos, the presence of complete absorption of one of its cells was observed. So, what happened to these 303 embryos?
Our study proves that the embryos have absorbed cells and, afterwards, they keep dividing until they reach blastocyst stage (early stage of embryo development, which happens between the 5th and the 6th day after fertilisation) have the same implantation, evolutive pregnancy and healthy born baby rates.
These embryos showed a slight decrease of the proportion that reaches blastocyst stage, but the rate of born babies remains, a fact that suggests that the earlier detection of errors by the cells would be implied in this absorption. The embryos that are able to overcome this repair activity have the same reproductive potential.
It is exciting finding out that the human being, in its second or third day of life is already capable to determine that one of its cells has been altered and that it has the potential to remove it and keep growing in a healthy way.
This proves that life does not consist in being born perfect, but in being able to correct one’s defects. Not only have those which seem perfect manage to live, but also those who have fought to be perfect.
As well as there are no two people who are physically identical, with the exception of identical twins, there are no two equal embryos. The number of possible genetic combinations is infinite. Because of this, from the moment of fertilization we all have our own unique features that make us unique from that precise moment.
This happens in all embryos, not only in the IVF ones. Every embryo works as a cell team controlled by a leader, with the purpose of living. If some cells start dividing in an abnormal way and are not able to be controlled, the bad ones will win and the embryo will not be able to develop. It is amazing to see how, from the beginning of life, human beings are able to remove their weaknesses in order to follow the correct criteria and get moving forward in life.