What Can Genetic Screening Tell Me About My Pregnancy?
Genetic screening (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) is a commonly performed procedure that is used to identify genetic defects within embryos prior to their implantation in a mother’s uterus. Genetic screening is often a standard part of in vitro fertilization (IVF). If you plan to undergo IVF in the near future, the fertility experts at Fertility Center of San Antonio in San Antonio, TX, can perform genetic screening once your embryos are a few days old. This simple test can detect the presence of genetic diseases and identify the gender of the embryo.
How Does Genetic Screening Work?
There are two terms that apply to genetic screening. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is often undertaken when one or both parents have a genetic abnormality that can lead to a disease or serious health condition. The test determines if the embryo will also carry the genetic markers of that condition. Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) is performed when both parents have no known chromosomal anomalies.
Genetic screening can take up to a few weeks to complete. These are considered the basic steps involved in genetic screening:
- An egg is fertilized in our laboratory
- Multiple cells a microsurgically removed from the embryo at around five days after conception
- The embryos are safely frozen
- We perform testing for problematic genes
The embryos that are free of genetic problems can then be placed in the uterus. Parents will also have the ability to choose the gender of their child if they so wish.
Genetic screening can deliver peace of mind for parents who have concerns about transmitting a potentially serious medical condition to their child.
Benefits of Genetic Screening
The main benefit of undergoing genetic screening during your IVF treatment is the critical information you gain that can help you make important decisions about your pregnancy. Once your genetic screening results return, one of our experienced doctors will guide you through the decision-making process from that point on. Genetic screening results may point toward the need to take special prenatal vitamins, for example. Or the test may alert you to the potential need for specialized care once your child is born.
Patients who benefit the most from genetic screening include those who:
- Have sex-linked genetic disorders
- Have single-gene disorders
- Have chromosomal disorders
- Are over 35
- Have experienced multiple pregnancy losses
- Have had multiple unsuccessful fertility treatments
Our San Antonio patients who undergo genetic screening can benefit from:
- Knowing the gender of the embryo
- Testing for more than 100 known genetic conditions
- The ability to maximize the likelihood of having healthy biological children
- The ability to choose to pursue pregnancy before implantation
- A lower risk of miscarriage
Although genetic testing is highly accurate, it is not perfect. Some genetic markers are not detectable until middle age. If you have serious concerns about genetic issues, prenatal testing should still be performed.
Contact Our Office Today
Genetic screening can deliver peace of mind for parents who have concerns about transmitting a potentially serious medical condition to their child. Genetic screening can also inform parents about the gender of their child. If you have questions about this advanced screening procedure, we welcome you to reach our San Antonio office online or call (210) 361-8973.