PGT: Preimplantation Genetic Testing of Embryos Improves Pregnancy Success
While in vitro fertilization has made advanced reproductive medicine accessible to thousands of patients at our Tennessee fertility center, advancements in genetic testing of embryos have given many of them increased peace of mind that their babies will be born healthy.
With genetic testing of embryos – also known as preimplantation genetic testing, or PGT – geneticists examine the DNA of cells from each viable embryo created through IVF. While the testing is performed in our specialized genetics lab, the embryos are cryopreserved using vitrification in our Tennessee fertility center IVF lab.
By finding any chromosomal abnormalities or genetic problems at the embryonic stage, geneticists, embryologists and our fertility specialists can work together to ensure that a single embryo – the one most likely to result in a healthy pregnancy – is chosen for transfer to the woman’s uterus.
Two types of genetic testing of embryos, PGD and PGS
PGT is especially valuable for women and men who have a family history of heritable diseases, are seeking to become parents in their 40s and beyond, or have a history of IVF failure or miscarriages.
The term PGT includes two different types of genetic embryo testing:
- PGD, or preimplantation genetic diagnosis, tests cells from each embryo for a specific gene linked to a specific disease or disorder.
- PGS, or preimplantation genetic screening, tests cells from each embryo for any chromosomal abnormality that could cause problems with the embryo’s development.
Both types of genetic testing of embryos help patients make more-informed decisions about their fertility and next steps.
PGD may be recommended if either you or your partner has an inherited disease that runs in your family, or if either of you might be a carrier of such a disease. Such disorders include:
- Sex-linked disorders, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy or Fragile X syndrome
- Single-gene disorders, such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia
PGS can find a variety of chromosomal abnormalities in embryos, including Down syndrome, so it is a good choice for any parent-to-be concerned about chromosomal problems. It is especially helpful for women of advanced maternal age or anyone with a history of recurrent miscarriage.
PGS helps the embryologist choose healthy embryos for transfer and unlocks the mystery of infertility by finding genetic reasons that past pregnancy attempts, including IVF, may have failed or ended in miscarriage.
Learn more about PGT
If you are concerned about inherited diseases or want to learn more about genetic testing of embryos to increase your chance for a healthy pregnancy, talk to your fertility specialist. Contact us to schedule an appointment at our Tennessee fertility center.