Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) allows us to check embryos for chromosomal abnormalities; Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) goes further, screening for genetic markers indicating a resulting baby would have a genetic disease or defect.
Together, chromosomal and genetic abnormalities are the leading causes of miscarriages and birth defects. By screening embryos ahead of time, we can increase the chances of both IVF success, as well as the live birth of a healthy baby. While data is still relatively new, recent studies do correlate PGS with higher, IVF success rates.
Both PGS and PGD tests are performed during the Day 3 to Day 5 phase of embryo development. Healthy embryos are marked and remain frozen until you’re ready to undergo an IVF cycle.
Are We Candidates for PGS and/or PGD?
While both tests are used with increasing frequency, they do come with additional costs. The costs associated with PGS testing average between $3,000 and $5,000, while the average costs of PGD are higher since the screening procedure is more complex, allowing us to screen for upwards of 400 known and mapped genetic disorders/diseases.
The best candidates for PGS are:
· Women 40-years old and older. Once women hit the 38-year mark, egg quantity and quality diminish rapidly, and this leaves them more prone to conceiving children with chromosomal or genetic abnormalities. PGS can save you from wasting precious time and money on IVF cycles using embryos developed from poor quality eggs. Eliminating those with chromosomal issues offers a higher chance of IVF success within the first cycle or two.
· Couples who’ve had mysterious, repeat failed miscarriages. Have you experienced repeat miscarriages, even though it seems there’s no clear, anatomical explanation of why? In this case, we assume chromosomal factors are at work, and PGS will verify that so we can choose the embryos without defects for transfer OR recommend PGD testing to continue searching for answers.
· Individuals or couples interested in gender selection. PGS automatically deciphers which embryos are boys and which are girls. There are extra costs associated with using PGS for gender selection.
The best candidates for PGD are:
Those with a personal history of genetic disease. Couples who are both carriers for the same disease have a 25% chance of conceiving a child that has the disease. That’s a high risk, and it’s the same with every pregnancy. We’ll talk to you about your personal and family medical histories, and if it seems like the two of you might be carriers of a known genetic disease, PGD is a smart option.
Repeat, unexplained miscarriages and/or IVF fertility cycles. Once all other infertility factors have been accounted for, we get suspicious when a couple has repeat miscarriages and/or repeat failed IVF cycles. This is almost always a sign that chromosomal and/or genetic issues are at work. Therefore, we’ll want to screen embryos to find out what – if anything – seems amiss, and to transfer those with the healthiest chromosomes and genetic maps.
Contact the team at Fertility Center of Dallas to find out if you’re a good candidate for these valuable, pre-implantation genetic screening tools.