The basics of the embryo biopsy technique
Our Southern California fertility center uses an embryo biopsy technique during IVF. The goal is to make sure our specialists transfer only the healthiest embryos to the uterus. This increases the chance of having a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Embryos undergo different genetic tests around day five. This time is ideal because the embryo has hundreds of cells. Embryologists carefully remove a few cells from each embryo by using a laser to create a tiny opening in the embryo’s outer shell. The cells they remove come from the trophectoderm, which eventually becomes the placenta. They can send these cells to a genetics laboratory for two different types of tests.
- Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) to determine whether an embryo is chromosomally normal
- Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to diagnose an embryo with a specific genetic disease
While the processes for these two different embryo biopsy tests are different, they both strive to prevent the transfer of genetically abnormal embryos to the woman’s uterus.
The PGS embryo biopsy technique
PGS is the most common test of embryos. It can reveal the sex of an embryo and identify whether it has the correct number of chromosomes.
An embryo should have 46 chromosomes, 23 from the sperm and 23 from the egg. If it has 46, it is normal. If it doesn’t have 46, it’s called abnormal or aneuploid. An embryo with an abnormal number of chromosomes can lead to miscarriages or birth defects.
PGD embryo biopsy technique
Our Southern California fertility center can order the PGD embryo biopsy technique when one or both parents have or carry a genetic disease.
Parents may already know they carry a certain gene, or they may suspect they do based on their family history. However, they may not know at all. Either way, a simple blood or saliva test can determine whether the parents are carriers of specific disorders.
- Sickle cell disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Muscular dystrophy
Geneticists can look for the presence of that specific gene in the embryos. They can do this by copying the DNA millions of times in the laboratory and looking for that specific gene.
Our specialists only transfer embryos free of that specific disease, which brings peace of mind to parents. PGD can now test for more than 1,000 diseases, making it a useful tool for parents.
Learn more about the PGS or PGD embryo biopsy technique
Contact us to learn more about the PGS or PGD embryo biopsy technique at our Southern California fertility center.