Morphometric and morphokinetic approaches toward embryo quality assessment have for many years been difficult due to technical limitations. Today, with improvements in laboratory techniques and subsequent quality, we have a better understanding of the morphometric and kinetics of embryo development. Fertility clinics are moving from "sensing" embryo quality to measuring embryo quality--and this is happening every day in fertility clinics all over the world. However, we cannot select for something that is not there. In daily clinical life it is almost never a question of selecting the optimal embryo, but rather choosing and prioritising between the available embryos. Data suggest that only approximately 5% of aspirated human oocytes have the competence to implant and develop into a child and that, in most treatment cycles, there is no oocyte capable of implanting. The most likely outcome is a negative pregnancy test, no matter what we choose in the laboratory. Still, both with the increasing complexity of infertile patients treated today and the important focus on reducing multiple pregnancies, it becomes increasingly important to improve our ability to predict the developmental competence of each embryo. This involves an improved understanding of the basic biology controlling early embryonic development and, over the years, many groups have tried to identify parameters reflecting embryonic competence.
Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 2013, Vol 26, Issue 1, p. 55-64