The maintenance of optimal glucose utilization during the preimplantation period is critical for embryo survival. A decrease in glucose transport during preimplantation development has been linked to the early steps of programmed cell death in these embryos. Decreased glucose transport is not thought to be simply a consequence of cell death, rather it is thought to be a trigger that can initiate the apoptotic cascade. Extensive apoptosis during the preimplantation period may manifest later in pregnancy as a malformation - or miscarriage, if cell loss is excessive. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) is a known regulator of a number of physiologic responses including cellular proliferation, growth, and survival as well as glucose metabolism. Studies performed in other cell systems have demonstrated that the PI3-K pathway plays a critical role in maintaining glucose transport and metabolism. This review will present the current evidence that suggests that PI3-K is vital for preimplantation embryo survival and development. In addition, data demonstrating that PI3-K activity is important for glucose metabolism during this early developmental period will be discussed.