Midwest Reproductive Center

Preimplantation Genetic Screening

Kansas fertility doctor Dan Gehlbach MD performs PGS

PGS, also known as preimplantation genetic screening, involves removing one or more cells from an IVF embryo. An embryologist removes the cells, and a reference lab then analyses the cells to ensure that they have the normal number of chromosomes. Specifically, they’re screening cells to make sure that they have 23 pairs of intact chromosomes, for a total of 46 chromosomes.

Chromosomal abnormalities can prevent IVF embryos from implanting in the uterus and developing a viable pregnancy

Studies have found that about half of embryos have chromosomal abnormalities, with this rate being higher in older women. This is significant because abnormal chromosomes can prevent IVF embryos from implanting in the uterus. Chromosomal abnormalities also cause roughly 70% of miscarriages.

PGS helps fertility specialists determine which embryos contain chromosomal abnormalities and which do not, allowing physicians like our Kansas fertility doctor to select only the embryos that have the best chance for developing into healthy babies.

PGS takes place after fertilization, but before the embryo is transferred to the uterus

IVF patients progress through several stages: ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, IVF lab fertilization and embryo transfer to the uterus. PGS is performed between the stages of fertilization and embryo transfer.

To perform this procedure, embryologists use laser technology to gently put a small hole in the outside layer of the embryo called the zona pellucida. A small sample of cells is removed from the outside layer, the trophectoderm that will later become the placenta. After the biopsy, the embryo is frozen to await the results. Meanwhile, the biopsy samples are sent to a genetics lab for PGS, where the cells are tested. Dr Dan Gehlbach will use the test results to recommend the best embryos for IVF transfer.

Who should consider PGS?

PGS is not for everyone, but it can be helpful for certain patients. According to Dr. Gehlbach, our Kansas fertility doctor, this procedure is appropriate if:

  • You are a woman over the age of 34
  • You have had several failed IVF cycles
  • You have experienced several unexplained miscarriages
  • You have a family history of chromosomal issues

If you fall into any of these categories, PGS could help Dr. Gehlbach determine why you’re struggling to conceive, as well as help select the embryos that are most likely to develop into healthy babies.

If you’re interested in PGS, Midwest Reproductive Center can answer all of your questions. Contact our Kansas fertility doctor for a consultation.