If you have been struggling with infertility, you are not alone. In fact, statistics show that anywhere from 10-25% of pregnancies wind up failing due to miscarriage. Of that number, 40-75% seem to occur because of genetic issues in the growing baby.
The good news is, when it comes to the various treatments that can be used to treat infertility, in-vitro fertilization can help you realize your dream of expanding your family. To facilitate a healthy outcome, two kinds of genetic testing are offered at our Utah Fertility Center clinic. This testing includes preimplantation genetic diagnosis and preimplantation genetic screening. Together they can give our team the data we need to be able to look for and identify particular diseases as well as any chromosomal abnormalities in a developing embryo to implant the healthiest embryos for a healthy pregnancy.
Breaking it Down
Carrier screening is done with the help of a simple blood test. This can help us find out if either you or your partner carry a genetic disorder, such as sickle cell anemia, Fragile X syndrome, or spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). With genetic testing, we can learn more about your infertility or miscarriage (in both sexes). For example, there could be a genetic reason for a man’s low (or no) sperm count, or a woman might have premature ovarian failure.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, or PGD. To find out if you or your partner are carriers for a genetic disorder such as cystic fibrosis or Tay–Sachs disease, we can screen the embryos for those specific genetic disorders. After an embryo is fertilized, we can perform a biopsy while it is in the blastocyst stage. We then send out the cells to a laboratory to screen and test the embryos. We freeze the embryo’s while waiting for the test results, and when those come in we can perform a frozen embryo transfer, or FET. The good news is, frozen embryo transfers are as successful as fresh embryo transfers.
Preimplantation Genetic Screening, or PGS. With this test, we are screening for an abnormal chromosome number to help with implantation success by lowering the risk for miscarriage through transferring only genetically normal embryos. So if you have had issues such as recurrent pregnancy loss or unsuccessful IVF, genetically testing your embryos can make a huge impact.
If you are wondering whether screening for genetic abnormalities is safe, the answer is yes! Screenings are both accurate and non-invasive, so they don’t harm the developing baby; instead, they allow us to identify fetal medical conditions early so they can be treated during pregnancy or right after birth. Whether your prenatal screening involves an embryo biopsy during the in-vitro fertilization process or simply bloodwork in the first trimester, participating in the process will optimize your chance of having the safest pregnancy and healthiest newborn possible.
If you are looking for answers to your fertility issues, Utah Fertility Center is here to help. Our reproductive endocrinologists can provide you with answers whether you are struggling to conceive or want to have carrier screening and preimplantation genetic testing. Please call us at 801-785-5100 to schedule a consultation with one of our fertility specialists in Murray, Pleasant Grove, Ogden, or St. George, Utah.