Preimplantation genetic screening or PGS (also often known as aneuploidy screening) is a procedure in which the embryos created through intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) are examined for chromosomal abnormalities. Pregnancies where embryos show chromosomal abnormalities often end in miscarriages or could result in conditions such as Down Syndrome.
In PGS, a small number of cells or sometimes even a single cell is taken from the embryo for the test. This is a genetic test where the cells are examined to pick up any abnormal chromosomes (Abnormal chromosomes happen when the cells of eggs, sperm, and embryos divide leading up to too many or too few chromosomes, or with missing or added pieces of chromosomes) in the embryo.
PGS is recommended in cases when the women opting for pregnancies are over the age of 40. A fertility specialist may also recommend it if there has been a history of some chromosomal abnormalities or more than a couple of failed IVF attempts or when there is a history of repeated miscarriages.
PGS is a developing procedure and with new technology coming into the field diagnosing abnormalities is better, however, it’s not entirely risk-free. Research has shown that often the cells in an embryo are not chromosomally identical and PGS bases its findings on a small set of cells or even a single cell.
Despite a limited risk to the embryo that is being tested and as mentioned previously in the article, it is a procedure to opt for in certain cases such as when the women getting the IVF are over 40, there is a history of some sort of genetic abnormality, where there have been a few failed IVFs and miscarriages.
Clinics advocating PGS are usually top of the line with good lab practices and better equipment. Once again, the lab facilities and expertise of the fertility specialist dictate and hold clout.
Refer to a fertility specialist to understand more about PGS. Find out more about the procedure and clinics and choose carefully. Ask your specialists questions about the procedure.
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