PGS - Pre-implantation Genetic Screening

Anyone that has experienced recurrent pregnancy loss, whether trying naturally or through IVF, understands the desperate need for peace of mind when it comes to having a healthy pregnancy. Now, thanks to the availability of technology and the advancement of sophisticated techniques, the help of pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) can significantly reduce these worries.

The Genesis Genetics Institute works with the top fertility clinics in South Africa to provide PGS screenings. This gives you the ability to take a closer look at your embryos prior to implantation and to determine if everything is as healthy as it could be. The procedure is immensely valuable, because it ensures the available embryos to be replaced are chromosomally normal, which increases the chances of implantation and a live birth.

This service is typically prescribed for couples that are more mature and trying to start a family, and couples that have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss naturally or through IVF. Simply put, Genesis-24 screening uses scientifically validated technology to test embryos for chromosome abnormalities. Traditionally, embryos have been chosen on their visual appearance, but PGS takes an important leap forward by being able to assess embryos on the number and normality of their chromosomes. The fact is: an embryo with a normal number of chromosomes is more likely to result in a healthy, full-term pregnancy.

Using tens of thousands of genetic markers, the procedure compares the genetic information in an embryo sample to that of a control sample. The data generated during a PGS procedure is put into a computer-generated chromosome map. Trained scientists are then able to analyse the data and create a detailed report, which is sent to Vitalab prior to your embryo transfer.

PGS is considered the norm in most of Europe and the USA, and is recommended by many top fertility specialists for couples who want first-hand knowledge on how genetically healthy their embryos are before undergoing embryo transfer.

PGD - Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis

PGD, or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, is a laboratory procedure used in conjunction with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) to help detect certain inherited genetic conditions. A PGD diagnosis can be made once you and your doctor have ascertained that PGD is your best option to exclude specific genetic conditions carried by one or both partners involved. Once this is done, we will enrol you in a program with Genesis Genetics UK, so that a customised genetic marker designed specifically for you can be manufactured.

The DNA of every individual is unique and every embryo boasts a mixture of each of its parents’ DNA, which means that every test is individually designed for every couple. Due to the fact that it is not an ‘off the shelf’ or automated process, meaning your PGD test will not be useful for any other couple but you, the process can take up to four months. When your marker is complete, you will begin the IVF process to produce embryos for testing. A sample from each embryo will be sent overnight by airplane to Nottingham UK for analysis to determine which embryos are normal and which have inherited any diseases. A report is then generated in time for a day-5 embryo transfer.

With the help of the PGD method, families affected by almost any inherited disease can help reduce the risk that their children will suffer from the same genetic disease. Comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH) is also used for PGD, which may improve the efficiency of in vitro fertilisation. It is believed to increase embryo implantation rate and reduce the chance of multiple pregnancies, as well as spontaneous pregnancies. PGD is also useful for families in search of a bone marrow donor, as they can use the procedure to bring a child into the world that is free of the disease and can then provide the necessary stem cells for their older, affected sibling.

Contact Vitalab for more information on this specialised procedure.

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