A Realistic Picture Of IVF Success

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most popular assisted reproductive therapy (ART) procedure. The process can help a multitude of women and couples successfully get pregnant. However, IVF isn’t a magic bullet, and a couple’s underlying fertility issues and genetic predispositions are also influential factors determining whether an IVF cycle is successful. Knowing the odds can help people make informed decisions during treatment.

ReUnite RXGenetic Counseling: Why You Should Speak To A Specialist Before IVF

What is genetic counseling?

Many people can benefit from seeing a genetic counselor (GC), and a consultation with a specialist isn’t restricted to individuals undergoing IVF or other fertility treatments. During the appointment, the GC will review the medical history of each member of the couple as well as discuss the potential for any known hereditary illnesses to be passed down to the potential child. Additionally, the expert can advise if genetic testing is warranted. Depending on the recommendations, specific tests may be performed.

Testing before IVF

If patients opt to get tested before beginning an IVF cycle, the process is known as genetic carrier screening. The evaluation will specifically look for underlying genetic conditions that both parents carry. In some cases, hereditary conditions may make embryo implantation more difficult or could present in the baby as a disability. Especially if a woman or couple experiences previous failed IVF cycles, genetic screening is strongly encouraged.

Testing after embryo retrieval

Once IVF is underway, participants can opt for 2 types of genetic tests. Known as preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), both tests occur before the embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus. Depending on the concerns, individuals can request either preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) or preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) to learn more.


When deciding what test to have performed, patients should know that PGD and PGS focus on different concerns. PGD is ideal if a member of the couple is a known carrier of a genetic disorder, as the technician will only screen for the condition requested. PGS is more similar to the type of prenatal genetic testing provided during pregnancy in the first trimester. Technicians will screen for chromosomal abnormalities that can increase the risk of implantation problems or miscarriage.

The PGT process

Preimplantation genetic testing is usually conducted during assisted hatching. A technician makes an incision on the egg’s shell to assist sperm in penetrating the egg. After fertilization, the embryo transforms into a blastocyst. A biopsy of cells will then be extracted from the exterior for further testing.

Undergo IVF with confidence

Genetic counseling is wise for any individual or couple attempting to conceive. Understanding what conditions may be present, as well as how genetics can influence not just conception but embryo viability, is critical. Couples considering IVF should consider speaking with a fertility specialist to understand more about the benefits of genetic counseling.

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