Understanding who needs PGS
Wondering who needs PGS? PGS stands for preimplantation genetic screening. It is a test that we offer at our Northern Virginia fertility center. PGS gives our fertility specialist a genetic snapshot of an embryo before it is transferred to a woman’s uterus and allows us to select the embryo that is most likely to grow into a healthy baby.
PGS takes place during an in vitro fertilization, or IVF, cycle. When the mature eggs, which have been retrieved from a woman’s ovaries, have been successfully fertilized the resulting embryos begin to develop through rapid cell division. When the embryos are five or six days old, our laboratory technicians carefully remove a few cells. Our technicians then analyze the genetic material to make sure that each embryo has the correct number of chromosomes.
Who needs PGS?
The chromosomal abnormalities that PGS detects can result in death or lifelong disabilities. PGS helps hopeful parents at a higher-than-normal risk for passing on chromosomal abnormalities have peace of mind.
- Women over 35 have a higher risk of passing on genetic abnormalities to their children because egg quality declines with age.
- Women who have experienced recurrent miscarriages because most pregnancy losses result from fetal genetic abnormalities.
- Women who have experienced one or more failed IVF cycles because genetic abnormalities are the main cause of IVF failure.
Hopeful parents who suspect they may be carriers of inherited diseases can find reassurance from another type of genetic testing called preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD. Rather than looking at an embryo’s chromosomes in their entirety, PGD screens embryonic genetic material for specific genetic markers for inherited diseases such as Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
Contact our Northern Virginia fertility center to learn more about PGS and other genetic tests that can protect your family.