PGS for advanced maternal age identifies embryos that are chromosomally abnormal
PGS for advanced maternal age, or preimplantation genetic screening, is a test that we offer at the Virginia Center for Reproductive Medicine to identify embryos with chromosomal abnormalities. These abnormalities may involve an aneuploidy, which simply means that there are an abnormal number of chromosomes in a cell and not the usual 46. We get 23 chromosomes and an X chromosome from our mothers and 23 from our fathers plus an X or a Y. Any additions or deletions result in aneuploidy. A classic example is Down’s syndrome, which is caused by 3 copies (rather than 2) of chromosome 21. Other common aneuploidies are trisomy (meaning 3 copies of) 16, and a common monosomy (meaning one missing chromosome) is Turner syndrome (45X).
PGS for advanced maternal age is particularly beneficial
Performing PGS for advanced maternal age is particularly important because as a woman ages, particularly when she is age 35 and older, her risk of having embryos with chromosomal abnormalities increases exponentially. For example, 30% of the embryos tested in women under age 35 will have aneuploidy compared to 85% of the embryos in women ages 42 and older.
How is PGS performed?
PGS is performed after every step of the IVF treatment cycle is complete except the embryo transfer. Before the embryo transfer, on Day 5, or possibly days 6 or 7, our highly qualified embryologist removes 3 to 5 cells from each embryo. This does not harm the embryos as these cells are removed from the layer that becomes the placenta.
These cells are then sent to a genetics lab for analysis while the embryos are safely frozen and stored in our IVF lab. This reference lab sends their findings from PGS for advanced maternal age testing to our experienced fertility specialist, Fady Sharara, M.D. He then talks with patients so they can make an informed decision about which embryo to choose during the embryo transfer phase, the final stage of the IVF procedure, in a subsequent frozen cycle.
What are the benefits of PGS for older moms?
There are several benefits of PGS for advanced maternal age.
- There’s an excellent chance that your embryo will develop into a healthy baby.
- PGS reduces the risk of multiple pregnancies because we can more confidently transfer one healthy embryo and therefore reduce the incidence of twin pregnancies.
- The genetic testing reduces the risk of miscarriage.
- PGS also increases the chances for a successful pregnancy compared to no testing.
Searching for a Washington, DC fertility center for PGS?
Nearby at VCRM, we offer cutting-edge PGS for advanced maternal age using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). This is the most accurate method of PGS testing available today. In addition, we report IVF success rates to SART and invite you to explore and compare our results. To learn more about our personalized, professional fertility treatment, contact us for an appointment.