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Preimplantation Genetic Screening

Preimplantation genetic screening can help hopeful parents bring home a baby

For the best chance of IVF success, our Virginia fertility center chooses the highest quality embryos to transfer. While indicators like size and growth rate can help identify them, preimplantation genetic screening (PGS, recently called PGT-A) goes one step further. It ensures that each embryo carries the proper number of chromosomes.

Every embryo should have 46 chromosomes. However, sometimes errors crop up, resulting in too few or too many. This is aneuploidy. It can result in miscarriages or birth defects. The chance of producing aneuploid embryos increases with maternal age, contributing to a decrease in the chances of a successful pregnancy.

By ensuring that embryos have the proper number of chromosomes through preimplantation genetic screening, our providers can boost the chances of a healthy pregnancy. PGS is a great option for patients who have suffered repeated IVF failure or recurrent miscarriages, women who are over 35 or have diminished ovarian reserve, and hopeful parents seeking gender selection.

How preimplantation genetic screening works

Our Virginia fertility center geneticist begins the PGS process by taking several cells from the trophectoderm (the outermost layer that will become the placenta) of a 5-day old embryo.

The method used currently is next-generation sequencing (NGS). While highly accurate, NGS takes about 10-14 days to get the results and the embryos will therefore need to be frozen before transfer.

  • We ship the cell samples overnight to a genetics laboratory.
  • Laboratory technicians isolate the DNA from the samples and allow it to replicate millions of times.
  • Technicians analyze the chromosomes for each embryo and report the results to our Virginia fertility center.

Preimplantation genetic screening is a powerful tool, but it is limited in scope. For hopeful parents with a family history of a specific genetic disease, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD or PGT-M) may be more appropriate.

Parental peace of mind

At our Virginia fertility center, we want every patient to be confident in their decision-making process. To learn more about preimplantation genetic screening, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today.