Couples going through IVF treatment have often been struggling with infertility or recurring miscarriages for years. Their goal is a successful pregnancy ending in a happy, healthy baby. But there’s another important side to modern fertility treatments, one that is often overlooked and is a huge benefit to society. IVF + PGT (Preimplantation Genetic Testing) can eliminate costly genetic diseases for future generations.
With genetic counseling for couples going through IVF treatment, we can identify risks and perform PGT to choose the healthiest embryos. And while the couple’s embryos stay safely at the fertility clinic, a biopsy of the blastocyst is shipped to a genetics laboratory for screening.
• PGT is only for couples going through IVF
• A biopsy of 5-10 cells taken on day 5-7 after fertilization and before the blastocyst is implanted in the uterus
At Overlake Reproductive Health, we use PGT routinely with all of our IVF patients to rule out embryos with chromosomal abnormalities and to limit the chance of early miscarriage. For couples with a family history of single gene disorders such as cystic fibrosis, fragile X syndrome, Huntington, Sickle cell, or Spinal Muscular Atrophy, PGT makes it possible to avoid passing on these diseases to their offspring.
While some of these diseases may sound familiar, others are just as significant in loss of quality of life and limited life expectancy. All of these conditions are wrought with gut-wrenching illness for parents to suffer through but there’s also a hefty cost in medical treatments. By sidestepping these diseases, we’re eliminating their expense.
One year’s treatment for spinal muscular atrophy can cost $750,000 and still the outlook for the patient is grim. There’s no cure and many affected people pass away in childhood.
So if you’re a patient going through IVF and PGT know that with the cost you bear, most likely with limited to no health insurance at the moment, you’re benefitting society. Hold your head up high. In addition to making your dream of a family come true, you’re choosing to prioritize your baby’s health and wellbeing just days after inception.