Fertility specialists have deciphered many layers of the fertility code, but there are still some illusive “unknowns” that contribute to failed conception or miscarriages.
One of the most mysterious of these unknowns is the genetic quality of the egg and sperm prior to conception. That is where preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) comes into play.
PGT Can Save Thousands in IVF Cycles
Once we fertilize your eggs in the lab, and without testing the resulting embryos, we have to rely on the hands of fate to wait and see if the embryo transfer is successful. When it’s not, or when repeat miscarriages are an issue, it is back to the drawing board to try to figure out Why? Fortunately, PGT helps to alleviate that by allowing us to transfer only the healthiest embryos.
The result is a faster route to IVF success, meaning thousands (often tens of thousands of dollars) saved in IVF cycles.
What is PGT (also referred to as PGD or PGS)?
Preimplantation genetic testing – also called preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) or preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) – occurs several days after the egg is fertilized. The embryologist removes a single cell and tests for chromosomal and genetic abnormalities. That allows us to select only the healthiest embryos on transfer days.
According to a very recent article in the International Journal of Molecular Science, “Preimplantation Genetic Testing: Where We Are Today,” published in 2020, “The preimplantation genetic testing is a valid technique to evaluated embryo euploidy and mosaicism before transfer.”
The study found that couples with certain infertility factors, particularly those with previous IVF cycle failures and repeat miscarriages, do benefit from PGT and are more likely to experience successful rounds of IVF when embryos with existing genetic abnormalities are excluded from transfer.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost for PGT varies from clinic to clinic, and many are now building the costs into specific IVF plans. For example, here at Fertility Solutions, we offer it as part of our Advantage Diagnostic IVF plan. In most cases, the PGT service costs around $4000. Consider that our standard, Single Cycle IVF plan costs $9500.
Comprehensive analysis of IVF cycles without PGT shows it takes an average of six total IVF cycles for a successful live birth. Thus, if the added $4000 results in success in one, two, or even three cycles, you will have saved thousands in wasted cycles as a result of transferring the healthiest eggs. If you have success within the first cycle or two , you will save between $24- $32,000 dollars.
Are We Candidates for Using PGT?
IVF with PGT cycles have the most notable success for individuals and couples with specific infertility factors. Those included:
- Advanced maternal age. Maternal age is one of the most important factors affecting egg quality, and it is widely understood that women 36 years old and older are at higher risk for having babies with chromosomal and/or genetic birth defects.
- Recurrent pregnancy loss. Once you’ve experienced three miscarriages, we want to take a closer look at the miscarriage tissue to figure out why. If fibroid tumors or uterine abnormalities have been ruled out, and the sperm seem healthy, chromosomal/genetic factors are typically the cause.
- Repeated implantation failure. This aligns with the recurrent miscarriage theory. The female body is wise, so unless there are also immunity-related issues at work, repeat implantation failure is a good reason to start testing the remaining embryos.
- Severe male infertility factor. If there are notable motility (how they move) or morphology (how they’re shaped) issues with the sperm, there is a chance chromosome or gene mutations are to blame. You might want to consider donor sperm or trying PGT to increase your chances of transferring healthy embryos.
Are you interested in learning more about preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to increase your chance of IVF success? Schedule a consultation with Fertility Solutions to see if this option is recommended for your situation. We are driven to provide personalized solutions for each of our patients and we only recommend fertility treatment options or testing services we feel would truly benefit your fertility outcome.