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Genetic Screening

what are the benefits?

  • Reduced risk of miscarriage and abnormal pregnancy

  • Decreased number of cycles required to achieve pregnancy (as well as the associated costs)

  • Increased chance of a successful pregnancy with a single embryo transfer

  • Increased chance of delivering a healthy baby.

Genetic screening involves either Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS), and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). These tests use embryo cells to determine any chromosomal and genetic abnormalities that might adversely affect the pregnancy. ­

How does it work?

Embryos are grown for 5-6 days in the laboratory (by day five, an embryo has well over 100 cells) before a small group of cells are removed via a biopsy procedure from the suitable embryos. 


PGS tests for aneuploidy – an error in cell division that results in deleted, extra, or translocated chromosomes. PGS helps IVF physicians identify embryos that are chromosomally normal  as these embryos are more likely to develop to term and result in the birth of a healthy baby. PGS scans 24 chromosome types: 22 non-sex chromosomes and two sex chromosomes (X and Y). Aneuploidy is usually not inherited and is associated with advanced maternal age. 


PDG is used to screen embryos at risk of developing serious single gene (monogenetic) disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington disease, and spinal muscular dystrophies. PGD allows specialists to determine which embryos are affected with a single gene disorder prior to implantation, and is therefore most beneficial to high risk couples with a family history of severe monogenetic disorders. This ensures that all embryos to be implanted are absent of any genetic disorders.