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Is Preimplantation Genetic Testing?

From the moment you decide that in vitro fertilization (IVF) is right for your family, you begin working through a long checklist of items. Genetic testing is among the first and possibly most important of the items on that list. 

At the Fertility & Gynecology Center - Monterey Bay IVF, we’ve helped thousands of couples through the process of IVF. Edward J. Rameriz, MD, and our staff are dedicated to making sure you have access to the latest technology to help you reach your fertility goals. 

We offer all fertility patients a simple saliva test that may identify the risk of some genetic diseases. 

And we offer some of our patients who choose IVF the option of further, more advanced genetic testing: preimplantation genetic testing.

Preimplantation genetic testing 

Preimplantation genetic testing is a broad test that we use to screen for chromosomal abnormalities. If you’ve had multiple miscarriages or repeated IVF failures, this testing may be beneficial. 

In order to have PGT, you have to produce at least one Blastocyst stage Embryo through IVF. We then test those embryos for chromosomal abnormalities that might lead to miscarriage. 

Studies have shown that PGT can increase the chances of pregnancy with IVF, especially in patients that have had previous IVF failures or recurrent pregnancy losses by eliminating the transfer of abnormal embryos.  PGT is recommended for women that are 37 years or older who have a higher risk of failure or miscarriage due to the deceased egg quality resulting from age (Age Factor).

All men produce some sperm that have chromosomal abnormalities and all women produce some eggs with chromosomal abnormalities. Age, health, and many other factors affect what percentage of eggs, sperm, and embryos have chromosomal abnormalities. 

Preimplantation genetic testing may identify the reason that you’ve had multiple miscarriages or that IVF isn’t working for you. 

PGT may also be used for gender selection. Sex-linked genetic diseases, like hemophilia, can be prevented through gender selection. 

Genetic diseases are those conditions that are passed from parents to children, often generation after generation. PGT can identify many such diseases. 

We evaluate one or more cells from the embryo for chromosomal abnormalities to single-gene mutations. There are more than 100 different genetic conditions that we can identify with PGT testing. 

Some of these conditions are present genetically but don’t cause symptoms until middle age. 

If you know that a disease runs in your family and have hesitated to have children because of it, PGT may help you make that decision. We perform the test before implantation. 

While PGT decreases your risk of having a child with a genetic disorder, it doesn’t eliminate it. You may need to continue having tests throughout your pregnancy. 

If you’d like to learn more about preimplantation genetic testing, book an appointment at the Fertility & Gynecology Center - Monterey Bay IVF today. We’re happy to discuss your specific situation with you and answer your questions at our Monterey, California, practice.

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