Preimplantation Genetic Screening

What do you need to know about Preimplantation Genetic Screening?

Thanks to the advances of science, those undertaking IVF treatment are able to check whether or not an embryo is chromosomally normal before being placed in the uterus.  This technique is called Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS also known as PGT-A) – let’s take a look at just what this method involves.

What exactly is Preimplantation Genetic Screening?

In simple terms, PGS is all about examining chromosomal copy number of all 24 chromosomes before they are transferred to the uterus by checking defects such as missing or extra chromosomes. For example, an extra copy of chromosome 21 can result in pregnancy affected with Downs Syndrome. Even embryos that appear flawless aren’t necessarily so, making PGS an important tool in taking a more informed choice as to which one to use. The technique involves removing a small group of cells from the embryo and the cells are sent for genetic testing. The embryos are frozen and once the results are reported back, a chromosomally normal embryo can be thawed then placed back in the uterus.

PGS is used to screen chromosomal imbalance in the embryo. This test does not screen or give information to relating to genetically inherited conditions. This can, however, be carried out by a similar procedure called Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).

Who should consider undergoing PGS?

Although IVF treatment in itself can help a couple to conceive, when it is partnered with the PGS technique, the chances of falling pregnant significantly improve. This is because we estimate that up to 40 per cent of even high-quality embryos transferred in standard IVF, will have chromosome abnormalities that result in a failed treatment cycle. So, while PGS can be a valuable addition for all IVF cycles, it is particularly useful for women older 38 years where egg chromosome abnormalities are increased, and for women who have had several miscarriages.

How can Repromed help with regards to the PGS process?

Here in Auckland, Repromed uses the very latest PGS technology to screen embryos, a technique known as Next Generation Sequencing. In fact, we were the first in New Zealand.  This innovative method can greatly help your chances of a healthy, successful pregnancy, as well as reduce the risk of a miscarriage.

To find out more about Preimplantation Genetic Screening and the costs associated with it, contact the expert team at Repromed.