Embryos of smoking mothers grow more slowly, shown time-lapse photography by French researchers. A team from Nantes University Hospital, in IVF study took regular pictures on egg from the moment it fertilized to until it was ready to be implanted into the mother.
It is already known that smoking reduce the likelihood of having a child. Therefore majority of fertility clinics ask couples to give up smoking prior to receiving any fertility treatment. The eggs which are fertilized through IVF are initially developed in the lab prior to being implanted.
This provides an inimitable chance to fertility experts to film the embryos when they divide into more and more cells. Senior embryologist, Dr Thomas Freour and team, looked at the growth of nearly nine hundred embryos among those one hundred and forty were taken from smokers.
In the clinic conditions the embryos of non-smokers reached the five-cell stage after forty-nine hours, but, in smokers it took fifty hours to reach the five-cell stage. In addition to that the embryos of non-smokers reached the eight-cell stage after fifty-eight hours, but it took sixty-two hours in smoker’s embryos.
Study leader Dr Freour, explained embryos from smoking women behave slower and there is a delay in their development. On average it is about two hours, it is significant and nobody was familiar with that before. If they go slower, maybe something is starting to go wrong and they wouldn’t implant.
Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, explained it was an interesting study which pioneered the use of new technology. It uses a fancy piece of equipment called an embryoscope which allows scientists to watch in real time how embryos develop without disturbing them.
The study findings were presented at the ESHRE (European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology) meeting in Turkey.