Genetic testing is just one of the many options to weigh when planning to have a baby. Our last post introduced Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), the process of screening for genetic disorders in embryos. Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS), one particular genetic test for embryos, can be important to consider during the family planning process.
A mom-to-be can add PGS to her new baby prep checklist if she is pursuing in vitro fertilization (IVF). After egg and sperm are joined in the lab via IVF, the embryos produced can be screened by PGS to assess the number of chromosomes. PGS is often suggested in cases of infertility, advanced maternal age, repeated IVF failures, or multiple miscarriages.
All human genes are arranged into chromosomes. Typically, human cells have 23 pairs of chromosomes, 46 in total. Embryos with missing or extra chromosomes, will have many genes absent or duplicated. As having the correct number of genes is essential for healthy development, this can have a serious impact on a pregnancy or a child’s health. Such complications reinforce the importance of PGS when planning for pregnancy.
PGS, in some cases, can increase the chance of an IVF pregnancy, and help prevent a pregnancy affected by chromosomal abnormalities. Therefore, PGS is a meaningful procedure for women who are facing infertility and an increased risk for chromosomal defects.
Our next post in this series will discuss assisted reproductive technology (ART) methods, which meet different needs of couples struggling to conceive.