What exactly is endometrial receptivity?

The endometrium is the last frontier in our collective efforts to address the causes of unexplained infertility and pregnancy loss.

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Volume 111, Issue 4, Pages 611–617


Bruce A. Lessey, M.D., Ph.D., Steven L. Young, M.D., Ph.D.


Endometrial receptivity is a complex process that provides the embryo with the opportunity to attach, invade, and develop, culminating in a new individual and continuation of the species. The window of implantation extends 3–6 days within the secretory phase in most normal women. In certain inflammatory or anatomic conditions, this window is narrowed or shifted to preclude normal implantation, leading to infertility or pregnancy loss. Of the factors that prevent normal implantation and pregnancy, embryo and endometrial quality share responsibility. In this review, we highlight the advances in the study of implantation from the perspective of the endometrium, normally a barrier to implantation. New advances will allow the early identification of defects in endometrial receptivity and provide new avenues for treatment that promote successful establishment of pregnancy.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.