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Selecting the healthiest embryo for embryo transfer day is an important skill that increases a patient’s chances for a baby.

Preimplantation Genetic Testing – Aneuploidy (PGTa) (formerly known as Preimplantation Genetic Screening/PGS) has dramatically increased the live birth rates of children born as a result of IVF. These techniques help your IVF team to analyze and understand the health of your embryo prior to transfer into the uterus. They have saved countless couples the heartache of inevitable miscarriage as well future investments in frozen embryo storage and FET (frozen embryo transfer) IVF cycles likely destined for failure. Making an informed decision about transferring ONE healthy embryo has also helped couples decrease the risks for multiples.

Genetic screening of embryos is performed on the healthier embryos after they have developed for 5 or 6 days in the laboratory. A few cells are removed from each embryo and sent to a genetics lab to analyze the chromosomes and make sure they are all present in the right amounts. An embryo has an abnormal number of chromosomes may fail to implant in the uterus or may result in a miscarriage, or result in a baby with a genetic syndrome such as Down syndrome or Turner syndrome. Aneuploidy is the term used to describe the condition where an abnormal number of chromosomes are present. Aneuploidy occurs in all age groups, but the proportion of aneuploid embryos is significantly higher in women ages 35 and older. After results on the testing are available, the chance of pregnancy with a genetically normal embryo is excellent, with a dramatically reduced risk of miscarriage. The transfer of a single embryo is the routine. Only in rare circumstances would it be necessary to transfer 2 embryos after genetic screening.

Genetic prenatal carrier screening  can also be performed to determine if you or your partner carry a recessive mutation (eg. cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease) which could be passed on to a child.  If both the egg and sperm carry the same mutation, patients can pursue additional embryo genetic testing, PGT-mutation (PGT-m) to avoid passing on the disease to your children.

For those patients who choose not to undergo additional genetic or embryonic testing, our team can still make expert decisions about which of your embryos are of the highest quality and will have the greatest potential for implantation.

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