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Preimplantation Genetic Testing

Preimplantation genetic testing can provide peace of mind on your journey to parenthood

Every patient who visits Fertility Specialists of Texas has something in common. They all want to have healthy babies. One of the tools that can help make this possible is preimplantation genetic testing, or PGT. This type of genetic testing has several forms and can be a great choice for patients who plan to conceive using in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Exploring the different types of preimplantation genetic testing

Embryologists perform PGT on IVF embryos that have reached the blastocysts stage, which occurs on Day 5 or Day 6 of development. They take a small biopsy of the outer layer of cells (trophectoderm) that will become the placenta. As a result, the part of the embryo that will become the baby remains untouched.

After taking this embryo biopsy, specialists can screen the sample using one of three types of PGT.

Preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) can screen embryos to identify which ones are aneuploid. Aneuploidy refers to embryos that have too many or too few chromosomes, which can lead to issues ranging from miscarriage to birth defects.

Preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic/single gene defects (PGT-M) can identify which embryos have or carry a specific inheritable genetic illness. This type of testing can screen for many conditions, including cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and Huntington’s disease.

Preimplantation genetic testing for structural chromosomal rearrangements (PGT-SR) can identify embryos that have changes in their chromosomes. Some examples include an inversion (when a piece of a chromosome is flipped) and a translocation (when a piece of a chromosome changes its location).

Each of these tests is very accurate, but it’s important to know that there is no such thing as 100% certainty in medicine. As a result, these tests can improve the likelihood of having a healthy baby, but they do not guarantee it.

Find out if PGT is right for you and your family

Patients should speak with their fertility doctor and often a genetics counselor to determine which of these genetic tests is right for their unique situation. Our team generally recommends each test in the following situations.

PGT-A is a wonderful way to increase the likelihood of bringing home a healthy baby. It can also help patients who have had multiple miscarriages or failed treatment cycles. Our doctors also often recommend it to mothers who are aged 35 or over.

PGT-M can help patients who have or carry a specific inheritable genetic condition. Some patients will already know they have a genetic condition in their family history, while others may not discover it until doing preconception genetic testing.

PGT-SR is a great option for patients who know they carry a balanced translocation or an inversion.

If you’re interested in genetic testing for your embryos, we can help you learn more. Contact us to schedule a consultation and explore your options.