Virginia Center for Reproductive Medicine Logo

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

What is preimplantation genetic diagnosis?

We are proud to offer preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGT-M) at our Virginia fertility center. PGT-M is a genetic test that laboratory professionals perform on an IVF embryo. PGT-M is different than PGT-A, which is for checking for embryo aneuploidies, or abnormalities in chromosomal numbers that increase with a woman’s age and is a primary cause of pregnancy failures.

During the PGT-M process, embryologists take a sample of the embryo’s DNA and examine it for key genetic markers that indicate whether an embryo carries a specific disease. We may recommend this test in the following circumstances.

  • You carry or have a strong family history of a disease caused by a genetic mutation in one gene. Examples of these disorders include Tay-Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis.
  • You want to know the gender of the embryo to avoid inherited X-linked disease like Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

If you choose to have the laboratory perform PGT-M, the team will take a small sample from each IVF embryo and analyze it. When the results come back, you can talk with your doctor about which embryo you should transfer.

How preimplantation genetic diagnosis works

After you undergo egg retrieval at our Virginia fertility center, we fertilize the eggs using sperm from your partner or sperm donor. The fertilized eggs develop into embryos over the next few days. When they reach their fifth to seventh day of development, we perform PGT-M.

  • Our technicians carefully remove six to eight cells from the embryo.
  • We freeze the embryos until the results are available, which can take a week or more.
  • The lab technicians isolate the DNA and analyze it for genetic markers of disease.
  • When we receive the results, we’ll consult with you about which embryo to transfer.

Because preimplantation genetic diagnosis only looks for specific, identified genetic mutations, the analysis is customized for individual patients based on their family histories and concerns.

Personalized fertility care

At our Virginia fertility center, we understand how daunting pregnancy can be when serious genetic risk factors come into play. We strive to provide information and compassion in equal measure to empower you to move forward with confidence.

To learn whether preimplantation genetic diagnosis is the right choice for you, contact our office