Understanding How PGS/PGT Works

Undergoing fertility treatments can be a long process of wait and see, with many peaks and valleys of emotions. When you finally get the news that your eggs have been successfully fertilized outside your body, thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF), you may wish to transfer
the embryo as soon as possible. Delaying the embryo transfer procedure by a few weeks for PGS/ PGT, however, may improve your odds of a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Vicken Sepilian, MD, an infertility specialist and reproductive endocrinologist in Glendale and Santa Monica, California, recommends PGS/ PGT for most women who undergo IVF. You may benefit from PGS/ PGT if you:

The PGT and PGD technology can identify hundreds of different mutations if one or both of the parents are known carriers of a genetic condition as well as numerous chromosomal abnormalities.

PGT/PGS and PGD are done before embryo transfer and implantation

Approximately five days after your eggs have successfully fertilized, they’ve divided multiple times, creating enough cells to undergo PGT / PGS orPGD. While they’re still in the lab, the embryology team gently remove a few cells from each embryo for testing. Your embryos
are then frozen until the testing is complete.  Preparations for the embryo transfer are made once we know that there are normal embryos to implant.

PGS/PGT helps identify the most viable embryos

The purpose of PGS/ PGT is to identify embryos that have mutations or chromosomal abnormalities that could cause a miscarriage or might result in serious or life-threatening birth defects or may not implant at all.

PGD, on the other hand, helps identify single gene mutations that one or both parents carry. In order for PGD to be performed, the parents must first be screened to identify the specific mutations that they carry. Examples of such conditions including:

Dr. Sepilian and his team then only select healthy embryos for implantation. Healthy embryos that aren’t needed for this round of implantation are frozen for future use.

PGS/PGT reduces miscarriage risk

When you have a miscarriage, it can be your body’s way of ridding itself of an embryo that isn’t healthy. Implanting only embryos that are free from mutations, defects, and chromosomal abnormalities enhances your chances of a full-term pregnancy and giving birth
to a healthy baby.  

PGS/PGT means you need fewer embryos

In the early days of IVF, as many embryos as possible were transferred to increase the chance of pregnancy. Because embryos are now pre-screened, the odds of one developing into a healthy baby are dramatically increased. Even if you only have one embryo per transfer, you still have a good chance at a successful pregnancy.

PGS/PGT takes a week or more

Because your embryos are tested for so many different types of abnormalities, the process takes up to two weeks. Once the results are in, you meet with Dr. Sepilian to discuss the next steps. If at least one of the embryos are free from defects, he schedules you for

You still need prenatal testing

Of course no test in medicine is 100%, and while PGS/ PGTis a powerful technology, Dr. Sepilian still recommends all the necessary prenatal screening tests be performed by the Obstetrics team as indicated.

Waiting saves time

Although PGS/ PGT/ PGD testing delays implantation by several weeks, you ultimately save yourself time in the long run as Implanting abnormal embryos could lead to multiple miscarriages and multiple cycles of IVF. It should be noted that while PGS/ PGT/ PGD will increase the live birth rate and reduce the miscarriage rate, it doesn’t always work for everyone in every cycle.

To learn more about IVF and PGT, PGS and PGD, call us today or book a consultation online.

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