Preimplantation Genetic Screening

written by Sansan

My husband and I have been so busy taking care of Hiro for the past almost 9 months and haven’t thought much about our past IVF journey. I guess that’s just what it means to be parents. The whole world now revolves around our baby.

I digress, after all the title of this entry is all about Preimplantation Genetic Screening. I had never heard about this until I met Dr. Lee of Lee Women’s Hospital in Taichung. Prior to my visit to the hospital, I had a history of blighted ovum from my first IVF embryo transfer in Mackay, and a chemical pregnancy the same year I was to have my IVF in Lee Women’s Hospital. Because of this, and my PCOS, Dr. Lee’s advice was to do PGS on my embryos. But what exactly is PGS?

PGS refers to removing one or more cells from an IVF embryo to test for chromosomal normalcy. They screen the embryos for normal chromosome number. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, a total of 46 and having more or less chromosomes would cause problems such as Down’s syndrome.

In Lee Women’s Hospital, if you have one or more of the conditions below, you are highly encouraged to have your embryos undergo PGS.

  • Women of advanced maternal age (females over 35 years of age)
  • Multiple miscarriage
  • Multiple failure of embryo implantation
  • Chromosomal abnormalities or chromosomal translocation in family history
  • Anyone who wishes to eliminate chromosomal disorder
  • Patients with inherited disease (for example chromosomal translocation)

When this procedure was discussed with us, we felt that we didn’t want to have to go through another miscarriage, which is why we decided to do it. Well, if you’ve read my blog, you already know what happened.😉

Because PGS detects chromosomally normal and abnormal embryos, this means that you can transfer only the normal embryos and weed out the abnormal ones, thus increasing the chances of an embryo implanting and making a baby. This is HUGE, especially for someone like me who has poor quality eggs. Because of this increased likelihood of a positive pregnancy, Dr. Lee usually just transfers one normal embryo to prevent multiple pregnancy from occurring.

In the end, it’s still up to the couple if they want to try PGS, because it will definitely increase the chances of having a successful pregnancy. It comes with a hefty price tag though. And I just want to reiterate, nothing is ever certain when it comes to IVF or PGS. There are other factors that play a role on a successful pregnancy such as uterine receptivity, APAS and other things I may not be aware of. We can only really pray and hope for the best.


EPSON scanner image

Featured photo by Marco Secchi

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