Fast Way For Having A Child – Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy (PGT-A)
Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) is considered to be one of the most important achievements of modern reproductive medicine. This method enables the couples with infertility-related problems or genetic diseases to have a healthy child.
Why is Preimplantation Genetic Testing necessary?
Each embryo is produced in a woman’s body is not necessarily compatible with life. Because of incorrect number of chromosomes (aneuploidy) or some other disorders, many of them are incapable of attaching the uterus or despite attaching, they cannot develop, which leads to miscarriage. The risk of aneuploidy increases as a woman’s age increases. Apart from that, some families suffer from genetic diseases, which can result in newborn child mortality and in developing such health-related problems that last for lifetime.
Until recently, medicine was unable to offer any solution to these patients, however along with the development of new technologies for reproductive genetics, the possibility of Preimplantation Genetic Testing emerged, which creates a whole new perspective: it increases the chances of pregnancy and can reduce the risk of genetically transmitted diseases to the child.
According to the data from Preimplantation Genetic Testing, the rate of embryos with the correct number of chromosomes (euploid embryos) among women aged 22-25 is 53%. This indicator is consistent with the high rate of success for IVF in young women worldwide. However, the percentage of euploid embryos decreases with aging, which reduces chances of pregnancy for women over the age of 35 years.
How is PGT performed?
Healthy embryos are identified by assessing the number of chromosomes in each embryo and its structure. In Georgia, Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) was first performed in 2015 at ReproART. It is worth noting that most crucial and complex part of the test is embryo biopsy, which requires a special laser. This procedure is done by highly qualified personnel using cutting-edge instruments at ReproART.
Embryo biopsy is done in the embryology laboratory and includes all safety procedures. On the third day of embryo development, a laser is used to make a small hole in the coat surrounding the embryo. Biological material is extracted from that part, where later on placenta is formed. Therefore, biopsy happens without embryo being damaged and its development is not interrupted. Cells formed as a result of biopsy are sent to the partner laboratories in the UK or USA for further testing.
Preimplantation Genetic Testing and Infertility
Following in-vitro fertilization, there may be several embryos, but often only 1 of these embryos is capable of leading to pregnancy and birth a healthy baby after being transferred to woman’s uterus.
It is impossible to identify that one “good” embryo by visual inspection (without PGT). Therefore the chance of selecting that one “good” embryo visually is quite small. If the embryo that is selected for the transfer is not that “good” embryo, then either pregnancy will not occur or the pregnancy that does occur will end in miscarriage. Without PGT, patients may attempt pregnancy for several times without success. Since each attempt requires at least one month, several months may be wasted on unsuccessful attempts. When PGT is used, that “good” embryo can be identified for the first attempt, avoiding multiple stressful months without success.
According to the ReproART data, when woman at the age of 40 receives in-vitro fertilization treatment without PGT, likelihood of pregnancy ranges between 10-14% and of miscarriage – 50%. In case of performing PGT and transferring a healthy embryo, the likelihood of pregnancy will increase from 10-14% to 50% and miscarriage rate will decrease from 50% to 10%.
One more factor should be noted: Genetic Testing enables the doctors to transfer healthy embryo to the uterus on the first attempt, which dramatically increases the likelihood of pregnancy at the first attempt and thus, reduces frustration, negative feelings and additional financial expenses related to performing embryo transfer several times for the couples. What matters most is that Testing indeed yields result: healthy babies are already born as a result of the Testing. We are proud that owing to ReproART team in 2016 for the first time healthy children were born resulting from PGT-A (Preimplantation Genetic Screening) / PGT-M (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis) performed in Georgia, by Georgians and for Georgians.