Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) is an advanced technique that allows us to examine the genetic composition of an embryo and determine if it is suitable for transfer during an IVF cycle. This technique is commonly used for patients who have a history of repeated pregnancy loss, unsuccessful IVF cycles, or are older and more likely to produce defective embryos. PGT can help increase the chances of a successful pregnancy for these patients by identifying embryos that are most likely to develop into healthy babies. While PGT has many benefits, it also has some limitations and risks that should be considered before undergoing the procedure.
If you’ve lost pregnancies repeatedly, have a history of unsuccessful IVF, or are older and more likely to produce defective embryos, it may help you get pregnant.
Preimplantation genetic screening has a variety of advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of if you’re considering about having it as part of your IVF cycle.
Benefits of Preimplantation Genetic Screening
One of the main benefits of Preimplantation Genetic testing is that it significantly lowers the risk of an aberrant embryo conception. Aberrant embryos are embryos that have the wrong number of chromosomes, which can happen to women of any age who conceive naturally or through IVF. These embryos often result in miscarriage or unsuccessful therapy. PGT can detect these embryos before they are transferred to the uterus, thus significantly reducing the risk of a miscarriage or unsuccessful therapy.
Another benefit of PGT is that it can assist in getting pregnant with the fewest possible IVF cycles. During an IVF cycle, multiple embryos are usually created and only a few are selected for transfer to the uterus. PGT can help identify the embryos that are most likely to develop into healthy babies, increasing the chances of a successful pregnancy. This can also reduce the need for multiple IVF cycles and the emotional and financial burden that comes with them.
If PGT reveals that you only have defective embryos, you can consider using donor sperm and donor eggs to start a family as an alternative to IVF. This can help you avoid future unsuccessful IVF cycles and pregnancies. Additionally, PGT can also help identify genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities that may be present in the embryos, allowing you to make informed decisions about your treatment options.
However, it is important to understand that PGT does not detect issues involving smaller bits of chromosomes or other forms of chromosome anomalies. It only determines whether an embryo has more or less entire chromosomes than is necessary to develop into a healthy baby. PGT also does not screen for particular genetic disorders or identify disease-causing mutations, and it cannot determine the gender of an embryo.
Limitations of Preimplantation Genetic Screening
Since many patients undergoing IVF confuse PGS with other types of genetic testing, it’s critical to understand what PGS tells us and what it doesn’t:
PGS cannot detect issues involving smaller bits of chromosomes or other forms of chromosome anomalies since it only determines whether an embryo has more or less entire chromosomes than is necessary to develop into a healthy baby.
PGS does not screen for particular genetic disorders or identify disease-causing mutations. The gender of an embryo cannot be determined by it.
Risks of Preimplantation Genetic Screening
With a less than 1% chance of harming an embryo during cell extraction, PGS is an extremely safe technique. This is so that our embryologists, who are certified Embryo Biopsy Practitioners and highly skilled in the processes of cell extraction and the exacting processing procedures of genetic testing, may only perform PGS on embryos that have reached the Day 5 Blastocyst stage.
The absence of embryos deemed normal and thus acceptable for transfer is one of the main dangers of PGS.
It’s also critical to be aware that although though PGS has a 97% accuracy rate, there is still a slight chance that a pregnancy could be impacted by a chromosome issue. You should also get prenatal testing that is advised depending on your age, medical history, and other evaluations done during pregnancy, in addition to PGS.
Additionally, PGS is occasionally not possible during an IVF cycle. Typically, this occurs because
Because of how your embryos are developing or because you have a very small number of embryos—only high-quality Day 5 embryos can be tested using PGS—you have been advised to have embryo transfer sooner, at Day 2 or Day 3 of development.
Another limitation of PGT is that it is not always possible during an IVF cycle. This can occur due to the development of embryos being abnormal, the quality of cells being low and unsuitable for testing, or if you have a very small number of embryos and have been advised to have embryo transfer sooner. Additionally, re-testing is occasionally possible if the quality of cells is low and unsuitable for testing, but it only happens in roughly 5% of the embryos.
After extraction, the quality of the cells is low and unsuitable for testing; roughly 5% of the embryos have cells that cannot be analysed, however re-testing is occasionally possible.
There are also some ethical considerations to be taken into account when using PGT. Some people may object to the selection of embryos based on their genetic makeup, arguing that it is a form of eugenics. Others may argue that PGT is a necessary tool for preventing the birth of children with serious genetic disorders. It is important to consider these ethical issues when making a decision about using PGT.