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pros-and-cons-of-preimplantation-genetic-screening

Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) is a procedure used to discover genetic abnormalities in embryos conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF). PGT is performed on embryos before they are transferred into the uterine cavity. The goal of PGT is to reduce the probability of transferring an embryo that has a certain genetic illness or chromosomal abnormality.

Pros and cons of preimplantation genetic screening

The Pros of Preimplantation Genetic Screening include:

  • It tests for more than 400 different genetic conditions: Based on the characteristics of the donor biological pair, the preimplantation genetic screening method discovers genetic disorders. Your doctor may suggest certain testing based on your medical history. If you have specific concerns about your family history, you may also be able to order your testing.
  • The PGD screening process allows more couples to have biological children: The chances of having future kids with a health problem are relatively significant if preimplantation genetic screening is not done. If one of your biological parents has an autosomal dominant condition, you have a 50% chance of receiving the gene. With autosomal recessive diseases, there’s a 25% chance of a health problem during each pregnancy and a 50% chance that the kid will become a carrier.

The Cons of Preimplantation Genetic Screening include:

  • PGD screening takes time to produce results: It might take up to four weeks from start to finish to get the answers you need. You’ll need to go through the egg retrieval procedure, collect sperm, and fertilize successfully. In most cases, each embryo takes five days to mature, while certain cells may be surgically removed within 72 hours. After that, you’ll have up to 14 days of testing before meeting with your doctor to review the findings.
  • Some embryos never become viable for cell extraction: Only when an embryo develops into a blastocyst can preimplantation genetic screening function. Healthy embryos do not usually reach this stage. Because they have fewer eggs, older patients generally struggle with this part of the procedure, which means they have fewer chances to get a result.

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The benefits of PGT

Preimplantation Genetic testing  determines whether or not an embryo has the correct number of chromosomes. It may be able to:

  • Reduce the chance of pregnancy with a defective embryo, which may happen to women of any age who have conceived spontaneously or via IVF, and can lead to miscarriage or treatment failure.
  • Assist you in achieving pregnancy with the fewest number of IVF cycles possible.
  • Help you prevent future unsuccessful IVF cycles and pregnancies – if PGS reveals that all of your embryos are defective, you may want to investigate other options for starting a family, such as using donor sperm and donor eggs.

Costs and Risks associated with PGT

Costs

PGT is a new name that encompasses both PGD and PGS. The PGS procedure typically adds $3,000 to $5,000 to the overall cost of an IVF cycle. However, it’s crucial to remember that the procedure improves a couple’s chances of IVF success. While the additional cost is high, it is less costly than the expense of repeat cycles.

PGD costs around the same as PGS (and should include PGS by default), but the price might vary based on the rarity of the gene mutation you wish to check for.

Risks associated with PGT:

The biopsy procedure, which involves removing cells from each embryo for PGT, has a slight risk of causing harm to the embryo. Additionally, since the embryo(s) must be frozen during PGT, they must be thawed before being transferred. Embryos that were biopsied and then thawed had a 97 percent survival rate.

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Find out if PGT is right for you

If you’ve had previous therapy that hasn’t worked, you’ve had miscarriages, or you’re a woman in her mid–30s or older, you may be prescribed PGT-A; your failed therapies may be due to a chromosomal abnormality. 

According to research, more than half of human eggs contain chromosomal abnormalities, which increase with age. This is regarded to be the major reason why older women have difficulty starting or growing their families.

PGT-A can be utilized to assist you in identifying embryos with the correct number of chromosomes for transfer during your next cycle, perhaps increasing your chances of success.

Patients in their first cycle who have had a past loss or are over 35 years old may also benefit from PGT-A.

Conclusion

The benefits and drawbacks of preimplantation genetic screening are important considerations that each couple should discuss with their doctor. It may provide some couples solutions where none previously existed. There are additional ethical problems to consider and the total expense of the procedure. If you’re worried about passing on a genetic illness or disease to your future offspring, discussing PGD with your fertility doctor is probably a smart idea.

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Dr. Gunjan Gupta Fertility and IVF Specialist in Delhi

Dr. Gunjan Gupta

Gynecologist and IVF specialist
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Dr. Gunjan Gupta is a Gynaecologist with a specialization in IVF, Infertility & Laparoscopy specialist doctor and has close to 2 decades of experience in : Treating Infertility, Performing Gynae Laparoscopy (Keyhole Surgeries) Handing high-risk Pregnancies. She is a Member of Royal College of Obs and Gynae (MRCOG) of UK and has been trained in Laparoscopy at EUDGES (France).

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