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Genetic Screening

Genetic screening is a fast, effective step in achieving a healthy pregnancy

Genetic advances enhance our ability to build healthy families. We can identify genetic diseases that may harm the next generation and pinpoint the single embryo most likely to result in a viable pregnancy. At our Virginia fertility center we offer our patients genetic screening options to help them make informed decisions about pregnancy. We always follow the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s guidelines for genetic screening, ensuring the highest standards in testing.

Genetic testing identifies gene mutations

A preconception genetic screening test (commonly called Carrier Screen) uses blood or saliva to identify carriers for certain genetic disorders. If one parent tests positive for an inheritable disease, they are identified as a carrier. To pass on a recessive genetic disorder, both the male and the female partner need to be carriers, so we recommend that first one partner receive this type of genetic screening. If he or she tests positive, we will proceed with testing for the second partner.

In order for your child to inherit your recessive genetic disorder, such as cystic fibroisis, sickle cell disease, fragile X syndrome or Tay-Sachs, both the male and the female partner have to pass on their copy of the mutated gene.

Even if you don’t have a family history of genetic disorders, our Virginia fertility center, the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American College of Medical Genetics recommend that all couples who are considering getting pregnant should be offered genetic carrier screening. It’s an easy, affordable and important type of genetic screening.

Individuals or couples who are carriers can pursue preimplantation genetic diagnosis

During PGD, we remove 3-5 cells from a day 5 or 6 IVF embryo to screen for the specific genetic disorder that was found during preconception testing. PGD helps us determine which embryos are unaffected by a specific genetic disorder, allowing us to transfer the healthiest, most viable embryos into the uterus. This is an important step toward our goal of helping you achieve a healthy and genetically normal pregnancy.

Carriers of recessive disorders benefit from PGD.

Preimplantation genetic screening identifies embryos with chromosomal abnormalities

PGS helps identify embryos that are chromosomally abnormal, or aneuploid. When used with IVF, couples or individuals can confidently proceed with the embryo transfer knowing that they have a high likelihood for having a genetically healthy baby.

PGS is a vital tool for patients who suffer from recurrent miscarriages, women over age 35, and patients who have undergone a previous failed IVF cycle.

Genetic screening is proving to be a valuable tool for today’s potential parents seeking to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child. Contact us at our Virginia fertility center to learn more.