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Embryo testing involves the biopsy of embryos during IVF to assess for chromosome abnormalities  before selection for transfer.  This includes testing for genetically unbalanced embryos (PGT-A) or specific testing for a genetic condition such as Cystic Fibrosis, Beta Thalassemia or Sickle Cell Anaemia (PGT-M). The LWC’s pioneering IVF Select programme provides a new approach by freezing all embryos after biopsy for transfer in a frozen embryo transfer cycle.

Many IVF cycles result in disappointment as the embryos fail to implant or the pregnancy ends in spontaneous miscarriage. We now know that many of the transferred embryos are genetically abnormal.

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In the past few years additional techniques of selection have been introduced which use high-tech methods to test embryos for genetic and chromosomal information called Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy (PGT-A) or (PGS).  This technique should be considered for women in their late thirties and early forties, especially if they have had unsuccessful IVF treatment or miscarriage.

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Preimplantation genetic testing for monogenetic disease (PGT-M also known as PGD) is for women and couples who wish to avoid the risk of having a child with a genetic disease. PGT-M (PGD) has revolutionised the prospects of parenthood for couples who are known carriers of, for example, the cystic fibrosis gene mutation.

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Pioneered by only a handful of top clinics world-wide so far, IVF Select is an innovative, new approach to assisted reproduction that involves freezing all embryos in an IVF cycle and transferring after thawing one at a time in later non-stimulated cycles. Prior to freezing, embryos are screened using the technique of ‘next generation sequencing’ by testing embryos for unbalanced chromosomes.

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