embryo-screening

Embryo Screening Procedure

Embryo screening can be used to check for certain abnormalities before embryos are transferred into the womb during IVF. The screening stage can be particularly important if you are at higher risk of these kinds of problems.

When Should You Have Embryo Screening?

Embryo screening can be performed during IVF treatment. After the egg and sperm have been brought together in vitro, the embryo will be allowed to grow for a while before it is transferred into the womb. The embryos will be carefully assessed to ensure that the best quality ones are selected for the transfer. Embryo screening is one of the checks that can be performed at this stage of IVF treatment. It can detect embryos that are likely to have issues such as chromosomal abnormalities that could affect their development or survival.

You can decide which screening tests you want to have during your IVF treatment. You might want to have a genetic test for a specific condition if you are at higher risk, for example if you are older parents. In some cases, couples who are at very high risk of genetic abnormalities may decide to have IVF in order to go through the embryo screening stage, even if they would have a good chance of conceiving naturally. The issues that are detected during embryo screening can cause serious developmental problems, lifelong health conditions or even miscarriages. Having the screening can, therefore, increase the chances of a successful, healthy pregnancy.

What Does Embryo Screening Involve?

Embryo screening is one of the stages of IVF that takes place in vitro. The test is performed by taking a biopsy or sample of one or a few cells from the embryo, which at this stage is just a tiny ball of cells. The DNA from the sample can then be analysed to check for certain kinds of condition.

The most common embryo screening tests will check for chromosomal abnormalities. We usually have 23 pairs of chromosomes, but sometimes an embryo can be formed that has an extra or missing copy of one of the chromosomes. Chromosomal abnormalities like this are one of the most common causes of miscarriage. Even if the embryo is able to survive, it will have serious developmental abnormalities.

Other genetic screening tests can be performed to check for other kinds of problems, but these are usually only recommended if you are at higher risk. For example, if you have a family history of a condition such as Cystic Fibrosis then it is possible to screen the embryos for this.

How We Can Help

Embryo screening can increase the chances of success with IVF treatment, so it can be a very important step, especially if you are at higher risk of abnormalities. We can advise you on your options for embryo screening in the UK and overseas. We can arrange the tests that you need and help you to understand what the results mean.

If you have questions about embryo screening or you want to arrange genetic tests during your IVF treatment then contact us to get personalised advice from an experienced fertility specialist.

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