Can embryo screening reduce the likelihood of miscarriage?
Perhaps you have had miscarriages in the past or you are a woman in your late thirties or early forties concerned about your chances of conceiving. Embryo screening using a technique called Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy (PGT-A) could help you achieve a pregnancy and healthy baby.
How does PGT-A work?
Embryo screening is a technique many clinics now use to help identify chromosomally unbalanced (aneuploid) embryos that can lead to miscarriage and failure to conceive for women in older maternal age. PGT-A is used in conjunction with IVF to create embryos that can be biopsied and screened. This involves an egg collection process and the fertilisation of the eggs outside of the body. The embryos that are created are then cultured for five days until they reach “blastocyst” stage. A skilled embryologist then extracts a small number of cells from the embryo which are sent to a genetics laboratory for testing. Any embryos that are found to be free of genetic imbalances and are healthy embryos can then be transferred or frozen and stored for the future.
Who would benefit from PGT-A?
Women who are in their late thirties and early forties should consider having embryo screening as there is an increased chance of having embryos with chromosomal imbalance. Women and couples who have suffered multiple miscarriages may also find this treatment beneficial. Embryo screening may improve pregnancy and live birth rates for these patients because only embryos with normal numbers of balanced chromosomes are used for transfer.
One by One IVF
PGT-A is a key component of the London Women’s Clinic’s successful One by One IVF programme which aims to maximise the chances of a successful and safe single pregnancy. One by One IVF involves the screening of embryos for genetic imbalance before freezing all of the embryos. In the patient’s next cycle, a transfer will be planned of a single, balanced (euploid) embryo. This programme has shown high cumulative success rates for a wide range of maternal ages.