New Techniques In IVF
Preimplantation genetic evaluation
PGS (Aneuploidy screening)
Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), now known as preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidies (PGT-A), is a very early method of screening the chromosomal make-up of embryos with the aim of increasing the pregnancy rate and reducing the risk of miscarriage for specific groups of patients. These groups include older women, those with recurrent IVF failure or unexplained recurrent miscarriage. Patients in these groups can produce embryos with an abnormal number of chromosomes (aneuploid embryos).
PGS enables us to scan embryos and to pick those most likely to result in a healthy, successful pregnancy, before implanting them into the womb.
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can be used by people who have a serious inherited disease in their family to avoid passing it onto their children. PGD can be used to test for almost any genetic condition where a specific gene is known to cause that condition.
Sperm DNA Fragmentation Test
The sperm DNA fragmentation test checks for the integrity of the genetic material (DNA) in sperm.Many lifestyle factors such as smoking, scrotal heat exposure and causes of male infertility such as varicocele and chronic infection lead to sperm DNA damage.High DNA fragmentation accounts for cases of unexplained infertility, recurrent miscarriage and failed IVF cycles.
What is assisted hatching?
Assisted hatching is an additional procedure that can be performed in patients who are undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. Once embryos are created using IVF, the embryo is surrounded by a hard-outer layer of cells called the zona pellucida. You can think of this outer layer as the “shell” of the embryo. An embryo must break free of this “shell” in order to implant into the uterus and develop into a pregnancy. Assisted hatching is a procedure where we can help the embryo “hatch” from its “shell” by creating a small crack in the zona pellucida. It is believed that assisted hatching can help an embryo implant in the uterus, leading to higher pregnancy rates in some patients.
How does the assisted hatching procedure work?
Assisted hatching is generally performed on the third day of embryo development. The embryologists use a laser to create a very small hole in the zona pellucida. Assisted hatching can also be done on previously frozen and thawed embryos.
Who are ideal candidates for assisted hatching?
Assisted hatching is not recommended for all patients, but may be helpful in women who are older (more than 37 years old) or who have had a prior IVF failure.
Are there any risks associated with assisted hatching?
There is a slight increased risk for identical twins in embryos that have undergone assisted hatching. Very rarely, an embryo can be damaged from the assisted hatching process.
This process is relatively easy. There is literally a minor injury to the endometrium using a thin catheter, with the ultimate goal of increasing the implantation rate of the fertilized fetus.
This injury to the endometrium triggers a regenerative process in which hormones and chemicals are released and the new part of the endometrium that develops is considered more “friendly” to the foetus.
The procedure is not painful and the woman does not need any preparation beforehand as no anaesthesia is used.