Genetic testing – or in fertility terms ‘pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS)’ is a treatment for checking the chromosomes of embryos for abnormalities whilst undergoing IVF treatment.
A common reason for IVF treatment failure is because of chromosomal abnormalities within an embryo.
If you are considering fertility treatment, you will want to make sure that your chances of conception are as high as possible, which means selecting the best embryos. This is done visually by skilled embryologists in normal IVF cycles. In relatively rare circumstances, such as where a woman has a good number of visually high quality embryos but has suffered repeated implantation failures or miscarriages, pre-implantation genetic screening can help. Through identifying the best quality embryos, this screening process can help to improve your IVF success rates.
PGS is a process that helps doctors to select a high-quality embryo to implant into the patients uterus. These high-quality embryos need to include the complete set of 46 chromosomes required to grow a healthy baby.
If an embryo has any deviation from these 46 chromosomes – whether there is an extra or missing chromosome – it is more likely to result in a failed implantation, miscarriage, or a pregnancy affected by a chromosomal syndrome.
Women of any age can be at risk of producing embryos with chromosomal imbalances, but this risk increases with age. This is why women who decide to have a baby later in life are more likely to have a pregnancy with a chromosomal imbalance.
PGS should not be confused with PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) which is a process designed to identify and discard embryos carrying a known genetic disease. It is only appropriate for parents who have previously been diagnosed as carriers of a disease-causing single-gene mutation and is a long and complicated process which commences before trying for a baby.
If you are concerned about your fertility, but unsure about what action you should take, we recommend an initial consultation at our clinic. If you have had fertility investigations in the past or received other relevant medical treatment, you should bring this information along for discussion. All of your medical history will be comprehensively reviewed at the consultation and you will be advised on your most suitable options.
This consultation can be enormously useful in avoiding unnecessary tests and treatments.
At Concept Fertility we believe in doing the minimum to be effective and will advise you every step of the way.