Embryo genetic testing helps ensure patients fulfill the dream of parenthood
Doctors at our Oklahoma fertility center may recommend embryo genetic testing, also called preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), for IVF patients. For this test, an embryologist performs a biopsy to remove a small sample of cells from each of the patient’s embryos. A genetic specialist then analyzes the DNA of the retrieved cells to assess their genetic health. Because PGT allows our fertility specialists to select the healthiest embryo for transfer to the uterus, it provides peace of mind for patients and increases the chance of a healthy pregnancy.
Two commonly recommended types of embryo genetic testing
Our physicians help patients determine which type of genetic testing for embryos might be right for their needs. Two common options include PGT-A, preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy, and PGT-M, preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic/single gene defects.
PGT-A. This type of preimplantation genetic testing can determine the chromosomal health of an embryo. If an embryo has too few or too many chromosomes, it has aneuploidy. This type of chromosomal abnormality can increase the chance of pregnancy loss, impede the healthy implantation and development of the embryo, or result in chromosomal disorders such as Turner syndrome or Down syndrome.
PGT-M. When genetic carrier screening, also known as preconception genetic testing, reveals that a patient or their partner is a carrier of a genetic disorder involving a single gene, the doctor might recommend PGT-M. This type of genetic testing checks the embryos for a specific genetic disorder, so that the embryo chosen for transfer is proven to be free of that abnormal gene.
Both types of PGT allow hopeful parents to learn the sex of each embryo, if they wish. Additional types of preimplantation genetic testing may be recommended for certain other situations, such as when one or both partners have chromosomal structural rearrangements.
After assessing a patient’s personal and family health history, in addition to results from genetic carrier screening, a doctor at our Oklahoma fertility center helps the patient decide if embryo genetic testing could be beneficial on their path to parenthood.
Who needs PGT-A or PGT-M?
Because PGT-A and PGT-M analyze specific aspects of an embryo’s genetic health, there are certain factors that make someone a good candidate for one test or the other. A patient’s pregnancy history, genetic health and other circumstances affect which type of embryo genetic testing the doctor recommends.
Who should choose PGT-A. Fertility specialists often recommend PGT-A for patients with no known inheritable genetic disorders and who are not carriers of any genetic disorders. This test is especially beneficial for women of advanced maternal age, or those who have experienced recurrent miscarriages or unsuccessful IVF cycles.
Who should choose PGT-M. A patient could be a candidate for this type of preimplantation genetic testing if one or both partners have an inheritable genetic condition, are carriers of a known genetic disorder, or are carriers of the same autosomal recessive condition. It is also a smart choice for parents of a child born with a genetic condition.
After reviewing the results from the genetic testing, a doctor at our Oklahoma fertility center works with the patient to determine which embryo to transfer.
PGT significantly increases the chance that the doctor transfers a healthy embryo into the uterus of the patient or their gestational surrogate, and often supports patients in fulfilling the dream of parenthood.
Contact us for more information about genetic testing.