Preimplantation Genetic Screening – PGS

Who Needs Preimplantation Genetic Screening or PGS?

For those couples who have struggled with recurrent miscarriage, failed IVF or unexplained infertility, we can use preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) to help identify chromosomally sound embryos for transfer back into the uterus.

PGS, a genetic test of the embryo, is used in conjunction with IVF and completed on Day 5, 6 or 7 after fertilization.

If you are concerned about advanced maternal age and the increased risk for aneuploidy, we suggest that you consider PGS prior to embryo transfer.

The value of PGS

For couples who have struggled with infertility, PGS has an almost incalculable value. At IVF Plano, we employ PGS to help couples optimize their chances for having a full-term pregnancy and a baby unlikely to have chromosomal defects that lead to devastating syndromes such as Downs.

PGS helps identify unbalanced translocations and aneuploidy in an embryo’s DNA, and is an effective treatment option for:

  • Women over 40
  • Women experiencing recurrent miscarriage
  • Women with a history of failed IVF implantation

Learn about the PGS process

Advances to cryopreservation and the demonstrated success of freeze-all IVF have positively impacted the PGS process. In the past, we conducted PGS testing and transferred the embryos in the same IVF cycle. Today, Dr. Douglas schedules IVF in a subsequent month for a two-fold benefit:

  • The uterus has time to normalize after ovulation induction.
  • The accuracy of the PGS results increases with biopsy at the blastocyst stage.

The embryologists will biopsy the fertilized embryos on Day 5, 6 or 7, at the more mature blastocyst stage. We carefully remove a sample of cells from each embryo for testing, improving upon the sample size from just one cell available to us on a Day 3 biopsy.

At this blastocyst stage, the embryo has two distinct cells, one group will form the placenta and the other will form the fetus. We take cells from the cell line that will form the placenta or the trophectoderm layer. Removing cells from the trophectoderm layer of an embryo does not affect growth and development of a healthy baby.

Preparing for pregnancy after PGS

After the embryos are cryopreserved, we send the cell samples to an offsite genetics lab, which will test the genetic material from each individual embryo for chromosomal abnormalities.

Once we receive the PGS results, Dr. Douglas can review which embryos do not carry any inheritable genetic disease or chromosomal problems and will recommend these for future transfer. Knowing that a prolonged IVF timeframe will increase the odds for having a healthy child makes it worth the wait for most couples.

If you would like to learn more about PGS, contact us at IVF Plano, one of a select group of U.S. fertility centers with the capabilities for trophectoderm biopsy.