Purpose of review
Embryo implantation remains the limiting factor in assisted reproduction outcomes. To date research has mainly focused on improving embryo quality, numbers and selection as the route to improve treatment results. However, with success rates plateauing, interest in the possibility of modulating the endometrial factor is increasing, and a number of biomarkers are now available that offer the possibility of assessing endometrial function.
In this review, we review recent evidence for the efficacy of a number of these biomarkers, with emphasis on those that aim to enable improvement in embryo/endometrial developmental synchrony endometrium and that offer an assessment of the degree of immune activation of the endometrium. The emerging field of reproductive tract microbiome analysis is also considered. Finally, nascent biomarkers of materno-foetal dialogue, including noncoding RNAs, microvesicles and endometrial glycans are discussed.
Tests of potential clinical value are emerging, but further validation studies are required. The usage of innovative endometrial biomarkers provides the possibility of targeted therapies rather than the blind empirical approaches to face embryo implantation failure. It also enables the possibility of randomized controlled trials of interventions targeting the individual cause rather empirical treatments of undiagnosed recurrent implantation failure.