Most people who turn to in vitro fertilization (IVF) have been trying, unsuccessfully, for years to have children. Through IVF, we can bypass many fertility issues to help you create the family of your dreams.
And we want to make sure your efforts are rewarded with a healthy baby (or babies), which is where preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) comes in.
As IVF specialists, Drs. Meera Shah and Richard Schmidt and the rest of our team here at NOVA IVF understand that your family-building journey has likely been a long and frustrating one. In order to provide you with the best chances for a healthy family, we provide PGD testing, which is an extremely valuable screening tool for your embryos.
Why you may consider PGD testing
Before we implant an embryo in your uterus, we may want to ensure that the embryo doesn’t carry any genetic abnormalities or defects, especially if you:
- Carry a known inherited genetic disorder
- Have a chromosomal disorder
- Have experienced pregnancy loss
- Have been through one unsuccessful IVF cycle
- Are over the age of 35
Please note that these are just general rules of thumb when it comes to PGD testing, and we may decide that you have other reasons for having us screen your embryos.
What PGD testing can tell us
Depending upon your circumstances and concerns, we offer two different types of preimplantation genetic testing:
- Monogenic, in which we test for a specific single-gene disorder
- Aneuploidy, in which we test for a wide range of whole chromosome abnormalities
It’s difficult to say here what these tests may tell us because your genetic screening may be unique to your circumstances. Still, to give you an idea of the issues we can find during preimplantation genetic screening, here are some of the more common disorders or abnormalities:
- Down’s syndrome
- Trisomy 18
- Fragile X syndrome
- Cystic fibrosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Tay-Sachs disease
Again, this list is only representative, but it gives you an idea of what we’re able to detect in your embryos before we implant them in your uterus.
How PGD genetic testing works
Once we successfully fertilize your egg in vitro, we wait for three to six days before removing cells from the embryos for genetic testing.
If we perform a genetic screening at the three-day mark, we place the embryos back into the incubator and wait for the lab results (typically two to three days). When these results come in, we identify the healthy embryos and move forward with implantation.
If we wait for six days to do the genetic testing, we freeze the embryos and await the results. Once we know which embryos are most viable, we can schedule your implantation at a later date.
If you’d like to explore whether preimplantation genetic screening is right for you, please contact our office in Mountain VIew, California, to learn more.