Benefit #1: Prevents passing on genetic disorders
During preimplantation testing, the embryo will be screened for over 400 genetic conditions. The parents can make an informed decision about proceeding with embryo transfer. Parents with a genetic disorder have a high potential of having a child with the same disorder. Certain disorders can even lead to life-threatening complications for both the mother and child. Preimplantation testing can ensure the future child has the healthiest start possible.
Benefit #2: Test occurs before implantation
Preimplantation testing is performed before implantation. This gives parents insight into the future health of the child. The parents will know if the child has specific disorders. Knowledge in advance can eliminate some of the unknown. Only the strongest embryos will be selected and transferred.
Benefit #3: Reduces the pregnancy timeline
Preimplantation testing avoids transferring embryos that have little chance of implanting. Some chromosomal abnormalities will still allow the weakened embryo to implant. The same abnormalities can also stop the pregnancy from progressing, resulting in miscarriage. Ruling out unhealthy embryos increases the chance of a full-term pregnancy of a healthy child.
What is preimplantation genetic testing?
Preimplantation genetic testing has two parts: screening and diagnosis. During preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), embryos are screened for chromosomal abnormalities. The abnormalities hint at the likelihood of developing certain medical conditions in the future, although nothing is guaranteed. The genetic markers show a possibility. During preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) doctors look for specific diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, and Fragile X syndrome. PGD gives parents the knowledge of what to expect from the pregnancy.
What embryos are viable?
Only embryos created for IVF can undergo preimplantation genetic testing. Embryos conceived naturally or already implanted before being tested cannot undergo preimplantation screening. Embryos already embedded in the mother’s uterus can still be tested for genetic conditions, through another method called amniocentesis. The benefit of preimplantation genetic testing is advanced knowledge. Parents will be better equipped to make informed decisions. Genetic testing removes a lot of the unknown.
Is testing right for you?
Testing embryos before implantation removes a lot of unknown health risks. Parents will know in advance what the options are and can make more informed decisions. Preimplantation genetic testing eliminates the possibility of passing on specific genetic conditions that could otherwise be fatal. For more guidance on whether or not to opt for preimplantation genetic testing, speak with a fertility specialist on an individual basis.