When you come to Wilcox Fertility as a patient, it’s our mission to make your care as special and personalized as you are. We also want you to empower you to understand every path to parenthood you have available. Below, we explore the very important topic of genetic screening.
If you’ve endured two or more pregnancy losses or you know you need in vitro fertilization (IVF), you may want to speak to Dr. Wilcox about whether you should consider PGS testing, which stands for Preimplantation Genetic Screening. PGS testing is a genetic study of the embryos which can be done as part of your IVF cycle.
If you and/or your partner have a diagnosis of a genetic condition or have a known increased risk to have a child affected with a genetic disease, Dr. Wilcox doctor might suggest Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).
PGD looks for specific inherited abnormalities and can be performed either for inherited genetic diseases or for inherited chromosome rearrangements. Conditions like Tay-Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Fragile X, etc. When you employ PGD testing with your IVF, it greatly reduces the chances of your child having the disease you have a high genetic risk for.
In 2018, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology and The International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies changed the name of PGS and PGD Testing.
Since PGS looks for “aneuploidies”, which is the presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes in an embryo, it is now referred to as Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidies (PGT-A).
Since PGD looks for specific (“Mono” as in one or single) gene defects, it is now known as Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Monogenic (PGT-M)
In general, chromosomal abnormalities put patients at a higher risk for miscarriages. Genetic testing can help Dr. Wilcox determine which embryos should be transferred that will provide you a greater chance at implantation, a lower risk of pregnancy loss and a healthy baby.
Overview of the PGT Process:
- PGT can fit easily into your routine IVF treatment. The cycle starts with ovarian stimulation and monitoring. Eggs are then retrieved and fertilized in the IVF lab. After fertilization, cells are removed from each embryo.
- An embryo biopsy is taken at either day three or five of the embryo’s development, meaning that a cell from the embryo is extracted and analyzed.
- Each cell contains all 24 chromosomes located within the nucleus, making it possible to assess all 23 pairs of chromosomes.
- Samples are sent to an outside lab. A report is sent back to Dr. Wilcox identifying which embryos are of the highest-quality.
- Based on these results, the selected embryos are either transferred back into the uterus or frozen for future use.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us via our online form or call us at 626.657.9327.