Test Those Embryos
Preimplantation genetic testing (PGD) is an excellent way of testing embryos retrieved during in vitro fertilization (IVF) for chromosomal abnormalities. The test is performed in a fertility lab by taking a few cells from the dividing embryo. This early testing allows genetically normal embryos to be transferred into the uterus during IVF, increasing the chances of a successful pregnancy.
Too many chromosomes
A normal embryo gets 23 chromosomes from the mom and 23 chromosomes from the dad. If the baby has more or less than 46 chromosomes total, there is a chromosomal issue at play. Down syndrome is one example of a chromosomal abnormality, but there are different types that can occur. Embryos with chromosomal abnormalities are more likely to miscarry and more likely to be born stillborn. If a child with a chromosomal abnormality is carried to term, serious birth defects and intellectual disabilities are both possible. These risks make PGD a desired test for people undergoing IVF. Here are 3 benefits of this non-invasive screening test.
1. Better embryos
Couples undergoing IVF understandably want the best shot at success. This starts with identifying and transferring the best embryo possible into the woman’s uterus. PGD can help identify any embryos that may be affected by chromosomal abnormalities. This allows the patient to choose an unaffected embryo to implant, decreasing the risk of miscarriage, birth defects or stillbirth. By starting with a healthy embryo, women can increase the overall chance of pregnancy success.
2. Cost efficient
Although there is a price tag for PGD, in the long run, this can be a much more cost-efficient approach when undergoing IVF. Patients who do not opt for this test may be more likely to transfer embryos with chromosomal issues that don’t survive to term. By selecting healthy embryos early on, IVF patients require fewer cycles to conceive a healthy baby.
3. Peace of mind
For women who have had a previous pregnancy loss, or a family history of genetic disease, PGD may offer reassurance. Getting pregnant only to lose the baby shortly after that can be heartbreaking. Having a positive pregnancy test and then finding out later that a genetic disease is at play can result in various emotions. Preimplantation genetic screening can reduce uncertainty since patients know the outcome is more likely to be positive.
Time to screen
Although not every patient will benefit from PGD, many find that this screening test reduces uncertainty and improves pregnancy outcomes. PGD is a non-invasive test, and results are available quickly. This procedure allows embryos the best shot at success, making family building a reality sooner rather than later. Make an appointment with a fertility specialist to learn about the benefits of PGD during IVF.