Summary. Genes for chorionic gonadotrophin (CG) are transcribed by the 16-cell embryo stage in humans, but there is no clear evidence of CG secretion as a bioactive dimer before attachment and trophoblast outgrowth stages of implantation. The studies summarized question the timing of CG expression and secretion, the possible roles of CG for intraembryonic differentiation and at the implantation site, and the recognition of this primate embryo-derived signal in support of the corpus luteum. The data suggest that the implantation window in primates may be broader than in nonprimate species, where a closer synchrony between embryonic, tubal and uterine events appears to be necessary for embryonic survival. Some preliminary data concerning an association between peripheral thrombocytopenia, ovarian inhibin secretion and peri-implantation stages of embryo development indicate that an unknown embryonic signal may be secreted before bioactive CG can be detected.