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How to maximise your IVF success: Selecting a healthy embryo

In the IVF laboratory
In the IVF laboratory

The London Women’s Clinic has over 25 years experience in helping people achieve their dreams of having a family. Part of our pioneering approach is using the latest technology and techniques to give you the best chance of having a successful pregnancy and taking home a healthy baby.

Aneuploidy - a common cause of miscarriage

One of the leading reasons why pregnancies miscarry is due to chromosomal abnormalities. Each embryo should get 23 chromosomes from the sperm and another copy of these 23 chromosomes from the egg. In some cases, especially in older women, the chromosomes can be unbalanced – too few or too many copies or parts of chromosomes. This is called aneuploidy and as maternal age increases the risk of aneuploidy occurring increases. In most cases an embryo with unbalanced chromosomes cannot develop normally and will lead to a miscarriage. In some cases there will be a successful pregnancy but the chromosomal imbalance will lead to health problems or life limiting conditions.

Preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A)

PGT-A involves checking the number of chromosomes for common abnormalities. Once the egg has been fertilised the embryo is cultured in the lab for five days. At this stage several cells are removed by a highly trained embryologist and the chromosomes are tested in a genetics laboratory. Embryos that are free from chromosome abnormalities can then be transferred one at a time with any remaining healthy embryos frozen for later use.

PGT-A can be particularly useful for patients who meet certain criteria:

  • Women over 35
  • Previously had several unsuccessful IVF rounds
  • History of recurrent miscarriages
  • Sperm known to have a high risk of chromosomal problems
  • Family history of chromosomal abnormalities

For more information on PGT-A please call us on 020 7563 4309 or complete our contact form.

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