Cincinnati Gay Parents - IVF with PGS
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Preimplantation Genetic Screening
The term PGS refers to preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
This is in effect checking the embryo for genetic diseases before placing it into the uterus.
The most common reason for this is that the one or both
partners are known to carry a genetic trait usually associated with a
severe genetic disease. Another typical example is a couple who has
given birth to a child with such a severe genetic disease. Some such
diseases are uniformly fatal, while others are associated with severe
disability. In another situation, the couple may know that they are
carriers for a genetic trait ahead of time by a screening process. The
most common severe genetic diseases in the US include sickle cell
anemia, cystic fibrosis, Tay Sachs disease, spinal muscular atrophy and
How is PGS performed?
This process begins with a standard IVF cycle. For full details on a stand IVF cycle, please go to the IVF section
of our main website, cincinnatifertility.com. Briefly, the ovaries are stimulated with medication.
The eggs are harvested by ultrasound. Each egg is injected with a
single sperm (ICSI). This is done to prevent the embryo from being
covered with sperm DNA which can contaminate the embryo biopsy. The
fertilized eggs (embryos) are then incubated for 3 days. Some embryos
will naturally stop dividing. Others will be healthy and continue to
divide. Healthy embryos which are at the 6 - 8 cell stage can then be
biopsied. The biopsy technique involves removing carefully one cell and
either fixing it to a slide or releasing its DNA for further analysis. The biopsy portions takes place in our lab and the
genetic material is sent off to a genetic lab The genetics lab will then try to get results back to us within the next 48
hours. If the results are available in that time frame, we have an
opportunity to do a fresh embryo transfer usually 5 or 6 days after egg
retrieval. If the results cannot be obtained within this time frame,
the embryos can be frozen until the results are known. Then a frozen
embryo transfer can be performed. Some programs will routinely biopsy
at the blastocyst stage and freeze all the embryos. Transfer would
later occur in a frozen cycle.
Is PGS expensive?
PGS is highly complex. It requires 2 teams of lab staff a
physician and a genetics expert. It is surprising given its complexity
that it only adds $4,000.00 to $5,000.00 to the cost of the typical IVF
Is PGS 100% Effective?
It is not. It is a new technique and cannot test for all
genetic defects at once. It can typically test for one at a time. It
is too early to say it is 100% effective for testing for that one gene.
Most recent studies show that it is more than 90% effective for testing
for one genetic defect.
Can You Use PGS to Prevent Miscarriage?
Yes, PGS can prevent miscarriages related to chromosomal errors such as trisomy and unbalanced translocation.
Can You Use PGS for Sex Selection?
Some programs will allow this and others not. In our
program we do allow it in cases of family balancing. To qualify for
this a couple must have 2 or more children of the same sex and wish to
have a child of the opposite sex.
How Soon Can I Do PGS?
It typically takes 6 months to develop specific probes for
the individual gene. Usually blood has to be initially collected from
the parents and tested. The probes are then developed.
What Is the Pregnancy Rate?
The pregnancy rate will vary from 50% for young patients to less than 20% for patients in the forties.
Are There Always Normal Embryos for Transfer?
Not always. In most cases some of the embryos will be normal
and available for transfer. In some cases all of the embryos can be
abnormal and therefore not suitable for transfer.
For more information on IVF with PGS or to book a consult with our physicians, please call 513-924-5550. Consults are available at all 3 of our office locations: Hyde Park (Cincinnati), West Chester and Florence, Kentucky.
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