The future health of their child is always a concern for prospective parents. Genetic testing, particularly prior to in vitro fertilization (IVF), has become an increasingly important part of the pregnancy process. The fertility specialists at Global Fertility & Genetics in New York, use techniques called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS) to help evaluate embryo health prior to implantation. To learn more, contact GFG today.
What is PGD?
PGD helps to identify certain genetic defects in embryos created during the IVF processes. This can prevent some disorders or diseases being passed on to a child. Once an egg is harvested and fertilized, several cells are removed a few days later, when the embryo has started to develop. These cells are evaluated for the presence of suspected problem genes. When an embryo is clear of these genetic flaws, it’s placed back into the uterus so that implantation may be attempted. Any additional embryos free of genetic flaws may be frozen for later use while those displaying positive results for the problem condition are destroyed.
What is CCS?
CCS looks for the correct number of chromosomes. Aneuploidy is the condition where an embryo has either too many or too few chromosomes. Aneuploidy causes more than 60% of all miscarriages and is the most likely cause for failure of the IVF procedure. Screening for this helps to achieve higher success rates for implantation and fewer pregnancy losses. CCS permits the identification of the most viable embryos for transfer, permitting the transfer of fewer embryos and reducing the risk of multiple pregnancies.
What are some of the benefits and limitations of PGD and CCS?
PGD can test for more than 100 genetic conditions and permits a better chance for healthy pregnancies for couples who may not otherwise opt for biological children. Candidates for PGD testing include those who may be carriers of chromosomal disorders, women over 35, and women with a history of pregnancy loss or multiple failures with fertility treatments. Though PGD testing may reduce the chances of a genetic disorder developing, it does not eliminate all risks.
CCS testing helps patients over the age of 35, as the risk for chromosomal errors increases after this age. Those with histories of miscarriages may also benefit from CCS. However, false positive and false negative results do occur, since only a few cells are evaluated.