Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) is the testing of early stage embryos (up to 5 days old) for genetic abnormalities.
The term “preimplantation” is used because testing is performed on embryos during the time before they would naturally implant into the uterus (usually after day 6). PGT is offered as a complement to a patient’s in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment.
PGT is comprised of two different types of tests, namely preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS).
The Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) test offered by Next Biosciences, EmbryoDx, is a test that is specifically designed to screen embryos for a known mutation that is causing a familial genetic condition, such as Cystic Fibrosis or Tay Sachs.
Used in conjunction with in vitro fertilisation (IVF), PGD is a laboratory test that is used to help detect single gene conditions before embryos are transferred to a patient’s uterus.
PGD testing is appropriate for patients who have a high-risk of passing on a single-gene disorder:
In order to screen an embryo, a biopsy is performed by an embryologist at your IVF centre. The biopsy removes cells from the embryo, which are then sent to Cooper Genomics (our international partner), where they are screened for the genetic condition of concern.
Yes, scientific studies have shown that embryo biopsies do not add risk factors to the health of babies born after IVF.
No test can guarantee that a baby will not have any medical issues. PGD does not test for all genetic and non-genetic problems that may be present in a baby. Genetic counselling before and after testing is recommended.
The whole process can take up to 2-3 months to complete.
The initial genetic counselling, testing of family members and test preparation can take up to 6 weeks.
Once the test is prepared, the embryos will have to be biopsied, the sample cells sent to the USA and testing conducted. This can take up to another 6 weeks.
No, unfortunately the medical aids do not cover this type of testing.