An overview of Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening

pre-implantation genetic screening
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What is pre-implantation genetic screening?

Infertility is not a problem that cannot be dealt with anymore. In fact, there are numerous fertility doctors across the globe who strives to help patients who are unable to have a child naturally.

While medication and surgery can help to correct a number of health conditions leading to infertility, IVF or In- Vitro Fertilization remains the best alternative for many a couple today.

Pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS)is a test that is carried out in conjunction with IVF in order to find out the abnormal chromosomes in embryos.

The fertility experts try to screen the chromosomes containing defective genetic material meticulously so that only the healthy ones get transplanted into the uterus resulting in pregnancy.Failing to do so increases the instances of miscarriages as well as failed IVF cycles.

There is nothing to be worried about the abnormality of chromosomes though. It has been seen that almost all females produce a few unhealthy eggs with their male counterparts generating faulty sperms as well.

The purpose of this procedure is to segregate the healthy embryos and proceed with the implantation so that the chances of pregnancy increase substantially.

Who Needs (PGS)?

Almost all the embryos are screened for genetic disorders in patients undergoing IVF procedure.

However, fertility professionals advise patients with the following conditions to opt for the screening process in order to be blessed with a healthy child.

  • Women aged over 40
  • Couples with a history of lost pregnancies
  • Couples who have had multiple unsuccessful IVF cycles
  • Severe Male infertility

The Process

The resulting embryos from a cycle of IVF are separated to be tested for genetic defects. The specialized professionals handle the procedure within a well-equipped laboratory.

A single cell or multiple cells are removed from the embryo and tested carefully to find abnormalities. The embryos possessing healthy chromosomes are transferred to the uterus carefully so that they attach themselves to the lining of the uterine wall and resulting in pregnancy that is confirmed by means of a pregnancy test.

Types of Tests Used

The embryonic cells are tested for a specific gene that causes a certain disease the test reveals either the presence of the flawed gene or absence of it.

Embryos carrying the gene are not transferred into the body and are usually destroyed whereas the latter is pronounced to be healthy and utilized for progression of pregnancy.

The results of the test will also reveal a carrier embryo i.e. one that will carry the disease but remain unaffected by it. However, the individual who is a carrier poses the risk of passing on the faulty gene to his / her progeny.

The fertility doctors carrying out the IVF procedure do not consider such embryos to be fit for implantation either.

Candidates for PGD

Patients with a family history of giving birth to babies with defective X chromosomes. There is a 50% chance of giving birth to a male child with developmental problems.

  • Couples known to have a history of chromosomal translocation resulting in failure of implantation, repeated miscarriages, and children born with physical or mental abnormalities
  • Patients known to be carriers of “autosomal recessive diseases” run 25% risk of passing on the faulty genes to their offspring
  • The risk becomes double for the children born to couples who are carriers of “autosomal dominant diseases.”

The Intrauterine system known as IUS is a small device made out of plastic that is inserted into the uterus and acts as a barrier to sperms.

It is a form of contraception wherein progesterone hormone is released by the device. It is an excellent form of contraception that may be used for a prolonged period of 3 to 5 years.

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

There are a number of genetic tests that can be conducted once the patient becomes pregnant. However, aborting the fetus or having a miscarriage is stressful, often leaving the patient distraught.

However, both the doctors and the patients undergoing IVF are willing to have the genetic screening of embryos done before implantation.

This helps to evade the risk of giving birth to a child with genetic disease that may cause it to live for a limited number of days or be riddled with an incurable health condition that hampers normal growth and development.

Experts recommend a PGD for couples who have the risk of transmitting the defective chromosomes to their children.

Advantages of using IUS

  • The female partner does not have to remember to insert it every time she indulges in sexual activity
  • Menstrual periods become shorter with associated pain reducing substantially. It is recommended by doctors to combat heavy bleeding during menstruation
  • It can be used even while breastfeeding a child
  • Fertility is not affected by use of IUS. On the contrary, females have been known to conceive quickly after removing the device
  • Use of other medicinal drugs does not affect the release of progesterone
  • Females who cannot use estrogen pills or other forms of contraceptives find the IUS to be an excellent alternative.

Feel free to contact KIC, Bengaluru if you want to know more about infertility treatment and pre-implantation genetic screening. Book an appointment today and get treated by fertility expert without needing to spend an exorbitant amount. Contact KIC ASAP!

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