Advantages of the PGS
Most chromosomally abnormal embryos either don’t embed or suddenly prematurely end soon after implantation. In this manner, if typical normal embryos are replaced, which have higher shots of implanting and coming to term, the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby increases if PGS is applied.
PGS of aneuploidy has been demonstrated to twofold implantation rates in a few studies, lessen the rate of pregnancy misfortune by half, and expand take-home child rates.
Advantages of Freezing Embryos after PGS or PGD
Embryos can be frozen after biopsy and then later transferred in a frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle. An advantage of this is the best embryo can be selected from day 5 and day 6 blastocysts. In addition, the uterus may be more receptive.
Banking or Batching
Patients have the opportunity to freeze and bank multiple biopsied embryos from several IVF cycles. When patients have the desired number of biopsied blastocysts, they can analyze the frozen biopsied cells at the genetics lab, and pay for testing only once. One or two tested embryo/s can be transferred back to the uterus in a frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle.
Risks of the PGS Procedure
While PSS is a relatively new procedure in IVF, the micromanipulation or biopsy techniques required to perform the procedure have been in use for many years. The risk of accidental damage to an embryo during the removal of the cell(s) is less than 1% in experienced fertility centers. Additionally, no part of the future fetus will be compromised or missing because of the removal of cells.
The test may occasionally classify an abnormal embryo as normal. Very few of such pregnancies have occurred. The reverse may happen, too – a normal embryo that is tested may be classified as abnormal by mistake, though the chance of this is also small. Again, due to the small chance of misdiagnosis as well as the presence of conditions not tested for via PGD, prenatal testing is still recommended.
Not all genes or chromosomes can be studied by PGS and one cannot test for both genes and chromosomes from the single cells concurrently. Neither test is 100% accurate because we can only biopsy a single cell from the embryo, thus follow-up prenatal testing via chorionic villous sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis is highly recommended.
Which Patients Benefit the Most
- Women 37 and older: Any IVF patient 37 years of age or older may benefit from PGS, provided that they produce 5 or more embryos.
- Women with a prior history of multiple miscarriage or aneuploid pregnancies: Regardless of age, these patients could benefit from PGS. In all these patients, higher implantation rates, reduced pregnancy loss and reduced risk of chromosomally abnormal conceptions are expected after PGS. It is not clear yet if patients with repeated IVF failure benefit from PGS.
- Patients with a different chromosome condition: Individuals with certain chromosome conditions can reduce their chance of passing the condition to their child via PGS.
- Severe male infertility: A high rate of chromosome abnormalities has been seen in embryos from men with non-obstructive azoospermia. PGS may also be indicated for other cases of very severe male infertility.
- Couples who are interested in family balancing
What about Cost?
This procedure may add $5,000 to $6,000 to the cost of IVF. In some of the cases, the insurance policies cover the expense.