Genetic Testing with PGS/CCS
What is the PGS/CCS Process?
Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS), also called Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS), is a technique performed during an IVF cycle that screens embryos for the correct number of chromosomes to lower miscarriage rates, avoid certain chromosomal diseases and improve the chance of a live birth. South Jersey Fertility Center was one of the first IVF centers in South Jersey to have a successful pregnancy using preimplantation genetic testing.
The biggest factor that determines the success of an IVF cycle is the placement of a “normal” embryo into the uterus. Until recently, the only way to select the best embryo for transfer was its microscopic appearance. Unfortunately, many normal looking embryos do not implant and some implant but ultimately miscarry. Research shows that the most common reason that embryos do not lead to a successful pregnancy is because they carry the wrong number of chromosomes. Chromosomes are the pieces of DNA that instruct the cells of the body how to function normally. If the egg and resulting embryo have the wrong number of chromosomes, then a successful pregnancy is not likely, or may lead to the birth of a child with a genetic condition like Down’s syndrome.
Maternal Age and IVF/PGS Results
Women are born with all the eggs that they will ever have, and as they get older, the eggs become more prone to chromosomal errors. This leads to increasing rates of infertility, miscarriage and genetic disorders with advanced age. During an IVF cycle with PGS, 1 out of every 3 embryos are found to be abnormal for women younger than age 35. The number of abnormal embryos increases to 2 out of every 3 embryos by age 40, and more than 9 out of every 10 embryos by age 45.
PGS Improves the Success of IVF
Since abnormal embryos either fail to implant, miscarry or lead to the birth of a child with a genetic condition, the goal of PGS is to determine which embryos from an IVF cycle are normal. Studies have demonstrated that transferring a single chromosomally normal embryo results in a significantly higher pregnancy rate than transferring a single untested embryo.
Replacing a normal embryo can overcome the age related decline in IVF success rates, and avoid the risk of chromosomal diseases such as Down’s syndrome.
How does PGS/CCS work?
In order to “count chromosomes”, we need to sample some cells from the outer edge of the embryo at the blastocyst stage, and send those cells to a special laboratory where the DNA is tested and the number of chromosomes is determined. PGS requires In vitro fertilization (IVF) which is a common fertility treatment where eggs are fertilized with sperm outside of the body and the resulting embryos are placed into the uterus to establish a pregnancy. Fertility medications are given to make egg containing follicles grow within the ovaries. These eggs are retrieved and fertilized by placing one good sperm into each egg (ICSI) and then allowed to grow for 5-6 days to the blastocyst stage. A small number of cells from the outer edge of each embryo are sampled and sent to an outside lab for testing and the embryos are frozen. In a subsequent cycle, we hormonally prepare the uterus to transfer a normal embryo. There is evidence that frozen-thawed embryo transfers may be more successful than fresh transfers. Transfer of a chromosomally normal embryo greatly increases the chance of a successful pregnancy and virtually eliminates multiple pregnancies.
Who is a candidate for PGS/CCS?
Any patient who wants to maximize their IVF success rates, especially:
- Patients whose age is greater than 35 years
- Patients desiring a single embryo transfer to avoid a multiple pregnancy
- Patients desiring gender selection
- Patients with previous IVF failure
- Patients with recurrent pregnancy loss
Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) in New Jersey
The PGD/PGS doctors and specialists at South Jersey Fertility Center are highly experienced at helping patients achieve their dream of building a family. We service PGD/PGS and other fertility patients in New Jersey through our offices in Marlton, Burlington, Sewell, and Egg Harbor Township. We are easily accessible to patients in Burlington, Mercer, Atlantic, Camden, Ocean and Bucks Counties.