What you need to know about Preimplantation Genetic Testing

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 Testing for Aneuploidies, or PGT-A (previously known as PGS) – let’s take a look at what this method involves.


What is Preimplantation Genetic Testing?

In simple terms, PGT-A is all about examining the chromosomal copy number of all 24 chromosomes of an embryo before it is 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 PGT-A an important tool in making a more informed choice as to which one to use.


How does it work?

The technique involves removing a small group of cells from the embryo, which will be  sent for genetic testing. The embryos themselves are frozen and stored in the Repromed Laboratory. If an embryo is reported as chromosomally normal, this embryo can be warmed and placed back in the uterus. 

PGT-A is used to screen chromosomal imbalances in the embryo. This test does not screen or give information relating to genetically inherited conditions. This can, however, be carried out by a similar procedure called Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Monosomies, or PGT-M (previously known as PGD).


Who should consider undergoing PGT-A?

Chromosomal imbalances are the leading contributor to unsuccessful IVF treatment and pregnancy losses. The chance an embryo is chromosomally imbalanced increases substantially as women age. PGT-A is particularly useful for women older than 38 years and for people who have experienced several miscarriages. 

By selecting only embryos with a normal chromosomal number for transfer, the chances of falling pregnant following an IVF cycle with PGT-A is significantly improved, while simultaneously reducing the risk of miscarriage.


What can Repromed offer with PGT-A?

At Repromed we use the very latest PGT-A technology to screen embryos, a technique known as Next Generation Sequencing. In fact, we were the first in Aotearoa to utilise this technology. 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 Testing and the costs associated with it, contact our expert team.

Megan Black

Nurse Manager


Megan leads the nursing team through the continually changing face of IVF. She works in a multidisciplinary team, providing the essential organization between the doctors and laboratory and ensuring communication between all departments.

Megan started her IVF nursing career in the United Kingdom, working in two large London clinic’s before returning to New Zealand. She is also the Secretary of Fertility Nurses of Australasia.

I love working with people and see nursing as a vocation, not a job. I usually spend my downtime absorbed in a good book and planning my next travel adventure.