What is Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) – Can it Guarantee the Best IVF Results?

Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

What is Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) – Can it Guarantee the Best IVF Results?

Genetic testing of embryos gives humans a new level of control over reproduction. Only couples at risk of having children with life-altering diseases (e.g., muscular dystrophy) would conduct genetic testing in the past.  

But, as global rates of miscarriages, implantation failure, etc., increase – more parents undergoing ART procedures benefit from genetic testing. According to recent estimates, infertility affects 48.5 million couples globally. 

Can Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) guarantee such couples the best IVF results? Let’s explore. 

What is ART? 

ART or Assisted Reproductive Technology refers to all fertility treatments that involve the surgical removal of eggs from a female’s ovaries. These eggs are typically combined with sperm inside laboratories and reinserted into the female’s body. 

Some standard ART procedures include – In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). By undergoing these procedures, couples with untreatable infertility issues can give births to healthy babies.

What is PGT?

PGT or Preimplantation Genetic Testing is the process of identifying abnormal embryos during prenatal genetic tests. An advanced fertility centre Mumbai will separate potentially abnormal embryos and only select genetically normal embryos for the IVF process. 

Since doctors can manually identify and select genetically healthy embryos – couples have higher chances of having healthy pregnancies. PGT is especially helpful for couples who have inherited chromosomal abnormalities from their parents.

With PGT, couples can ensure their genetic disorders aren’t passed to their descendants. There are three types of PGT processes – PGT-SR, PGT-A, and PGT-M. In each of these procedures, doctors remove some cells from the embryo and subject them to genetic tests.

These tests allow doctors to recognize genetic alterations/abnormalities in the chromosome numbers or genes. PGT is a very safe and accurate procedure. Couples that want to increase their chances of having healthy children via IVF treatment can benefit from PGT.

Who Should Get Preimplantation Genetic Testing?

Any couple that opts for IVF treatment should get PGT. By conducting PGT, doctors can carefully eliminate cells from the embryo’s outer ridges. Not removing these cells means they can develop into placentas in the latter stages of the pregnancy, which is very risky. 

So, all couples getting IVF should get PGT. PGT can also benefit patients who want to have normal deliveries. If your doctor advises it, go for it. 

Here are the types of people that can benefit from PGT –

  • Older women. Women above the age of 35 are likelier to have chromosomal issues in their embryos. These issues worsen with age, and the risk of chromosomal defects is higher than 80% once the couple is over 42-years-old. For people under the age of 30, the risk of chromosomal defects is less than 30%. 
  • Couples with long histories of miscarriages, mainly because of chromosomal abnormalities. 
  • Couples where one or two members have inherited genetic diseases. 

Types of Preimplantation Genetic Testing 

  • PGT-A: PGT-A (PGT for Aneuploidies) helps doctors determine whether an embryo is viable for the IVF process. PGT-A helps determine the number of chromosomes in the patient’s embryo.
  • PGT-M: People with family histories of specific genetic diseases are advised to get PGT-M (PGT for Monogenic disorders). This testing discovers the risk of inherited genetic diseases. 
  • PGT-SR: Couples with specific chromosomal rearrangement issues are advised to get PGT-SR (PGT for Structural Chromosome Rearrangements). 

How Does PGT Aid IVF Treatment?

Getting PGT helps couples undergoing IVF treatment in various ways. 

  • Couples have a lower risk of miscarriages as only the best possible embryos are selected. 
  • The implantation rate increases as choosing only healthy embryos to enhance the chances of successful pregnancies.
  • PGT also helps doctors diagnose potential chromosomal abnormalities in the child. Hence, the risk of congenital disabilities is significantly less.

PGT procedures have an accuracy rate of 98-99%. This testing technique is safe, and it increases the quality of infertility treatment procedures.

 

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