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Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) Lowers Pregnancy Chances

The Center for Human Reproduction’s Dr. David H. Barad discusses how patients can go through preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and end up with no embryo to transfer. CHR does not push patients to do PGS because even embryos with abnormal diagnosis can develop into normal, healthy babies.

We see patient after patient who’s gone through PGS at other centers, maybe produce 10/12 embryos and not had any transfer because they were told they were all abnormal. At CHR we choose to take another approach. We are not encouraging our patients to do preimplantation genetic screening of their embryos for aneuploidy. We are not convinced that the technique is going to give us a fair representation of the whole embryo and we believe (and have evidence that supports the idea) that even though a biopsy may appear to be abnormal you may still end up with a normal baby. One of the really disappointing things that happen to some patients at other centers is that using techniques, like so-called mini IVF, they will go through a series of stimulations, retrievals, producing an embryo and then preservation of that embryo. The notion there is that their plan is to produce one embryo this month, maybe one next month (maybe two), then over a course of five or six months they have five to eight embryos. Then after all that is done, they thaw all the embryos and do preimplantation genetic screening. Too many times we see patients who have gone through all of that, that may take a year to do (6 cycles), who then are told all their embryos are abnormal and they can’t have a transfer. We think that this is not really fair to the patients. Would we would do in that circumstance would be to do a transfer in each cycle. If the embryo is good, it’s going to grow, become a baby and save you from the other six cycles. The goal here is not to go through a bunch of cycles, the goal here is to have a normal pregnancy and we think the less manipulation we do to the embryos, the greater chance our patients would have of having a normal pregnancy.