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Fertility Services and Treatments - Preimplantation Genetic Testing Program

What is IVF and PGT?

Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) is a screening test used to determine if genetic or chromosomal abnormalities are present in embryos produced through in vitro fertilization (IVF). PGT screens embryos before they are transferred to the uterus so patients can make informed decisions about their next steps in the IVF process. Embryos unaffected by the genetic or chromosomal abnormality can be selected for transfer to the uterus.

For couples undergoing IVF, PGT may be recommended when:

  • One or both partners has a history of heritable genetic disorders
  • One or both partners is a carrier of a chromosomal abnormality
  • The mother is of advanced maternal age
  • The mother has a history of recurrent miscarriages

Thousands of clinical PGT cycles have been performed worldwide, resulting in the birth of hundreds of healthy babies.

PGT does not replace prenatal testing, such as chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis. It provides diagnostic information based on the analysis of a few cells, so prenatal testing is still recommended and currently remains the standard of care.

How does preimplantation genetic testing work?

Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) is available for patients undergoing IVF. The steps of the IVF process include:

  1. Medications are used to suppress a woman's natural menstrual cycle.
  2. Her ovaries are then stimulated with medications to produce multiple follicles, each of which may contain an oocyte (egg).
  3. The eggs are retrieved from the woman's ovary by a needle placed in the vagina.
  4. In the lab, the eggs are combined with sperm from a male partner or donor in a special culture medium that allows fertilization and the growth of high–quality embryos.
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