Screening all 24 chromosome pairs for a successful cycle: IVF and genetic diagnosis
For couples willing to opt for IVF, genetic testing has not only been able to increase the pregnancy success rate but also helped mitigate genetic anomalies that might occur in their future offsprings.
Leading to safer and better-planned pregnancies, hopeful parents have a wide range of options to help deal with fertility challenges through IVF. For some, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there is difficulty in achieving pregnancy, but rather, concern over passing on any of their genetic or chromosomal conditions to their future children.
Preimplantation Genetic Testing(PGT), which is a part of comprehensive chromosomal screening, is considered not only a crucial part of prenatal genetic diagnosis but more arguably a novel way to increase pregnancy rates through IVF.
“Genetic testing used in IVF cycles helps determine if embryos are predisposed to aneuploidy, which means that they might develop an incorrect number of chromosomes. Through genetic screening, only euploid (chromosomally normal) embryos are frozen and later transferred,” says Dr Gautam Allahbadia, a Dubai-based IVF specialist who helps modify a personalized treatment plan, and increase the odds of success in IVF pregnancies.
Performed on IVF embryos, genetic testing analyzes the number of chromosomes within each embryo. Embryos with the correct number of chromosomes are more likely to lead to a successful cycle; whereas embryos with extra or missing chromosomes typically fail to implant, leading to a miscarriage, or result in the birth of a child with a genetic condition, adds the doctor saying, “Not all IVF labs are the same, so before you pick your IVF center, learn about their lab quality , protocols and processes.”
“All couples produce some aneuploid embryos, whether they conceive naturally or with IVF. The idea behind genetic testing is that if the aneuploid embryos can be identified they can be discarded, so that only embryos capable of producing a healthy pregnancy are used,” says another expert at the American Fertility Clinic.
IVF and prenatal genetic testing work as aspiring parents identify a genetic disease risk as a result of preconception genetic testing. They subsequently go through one (or more) standard IVF cycles, and freeze their fertilized embryos. Each embryo is screened for the gene in question, and only those embryos without the disease are implanted.
With IVF genetic testing sub stepping diseases, it has also given couples a better chance at conceiving and family planning, subverting their physical and environmental limitations.