Revealed: Embryo communicates with mother’s womb

A team of researchers have uncovered how an embryo gets implanted in the womb. It also gives insights on early life events that take place inside the mother's womb. Also, through this research, an attempt has being made to decode the reasons behind the failure of IVF

Revealed: Embryo communicates with mother’s womb

Reproduction is the biological process by which new individual organisms (offspring) are produced from their parents. And the pregnancy process begins, after the fertilisation of an egg by a sperm.

But do you know how this embryo finds a place in the mother’s womb? It is an important part of the pregnancy process, as the embryo has to find a suitable place to attach in the womb, in order to get the nutrition. This initiates the pregnancy process in humans.

Deepak Modi
Dr Deepak Modi

Further, a team of researchers have uncovered how an embryo gets implanted in the womb. The study highlights, how womb gets prepared to host the embryo. This study is noteworthy, in order to find an answer to the question — why the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment fails in some cases. IVF is a process of fertilisation where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body and then the embryo is placed in the womb.

A research team lead by Dr Deepak Modi- scientist at ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health Mumbai, Dr. Satish K. Gupta- Emeritus Scientist at National Institute of Immunology- New Delhi and Dr. Asgerally Fazleabas, Professor at Michigan State University, USA has dissected the mechanism by which the embryo and the womb of a mother interact with each other to initiate the pregnancy.

Dr Modi informed, “Out of 100, IVF treatment fails almost in 70 cases. The question which is being asked is why IVF fails? From the available literature, we understand a very little about how embryo gets implanted in the womb. So through our research, we have tried to address this question. The research will help us to understand why it fails.”

The findings from the research state that a mother’s womb has a protein called HOXA10 and the embryo has a protein called STAT3. During the implantation process, these two proteins interact with each other. Experts have observed that the signals sent by protein HOXA10 are sensed by protein STAT3 while establishing the pregnancy.

This research is the collaborative effort of the 3 labs.  Dr Modi further said, “This is an extensive research and 3 labs with high expertise are involved in it. This will be a breakthrough in understanding the process of embryo implantation. We will continue to work on it,” said Dr Deepak Modi.

Dr Geeta Godbole first author of this paper emphasised that this research should be taken forward. “This research gives the detailed insights into the cross talking between an embryo and the womb. It is still in the primary stage and needs to be taken forward.”

Expressing her views about the significance of this study, Dr Anagha Karkhanis, IVF Specialist and Director, Cocoon Fertility said, “One of the reasons behind IVF failure is the timing of embryo implantation in the womb. In spite of other factors being suitable, lack of synchronisation between the womb and the embryo, may lead to the failure of the procedure. So, this study is important and it will surely be helpful in improving the success rate of IVF.”