Genetic screening on embryos is an evolving technology that is increasingly being used, in addition to an IVF cycle, to transfer a healthy embryo.

PGD is done when a couple is concerned about passing on a specific disease or condition to their children and there is a specific abnormal gene marker or group of markers to identify the condition in the embryo.

Examples of genetic condition that may be analyzed:

  • Thalassemia
  • Fanconi’s anemia
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Tay-Sach’s disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Myotonic dystrophy

Additional conditions exist and can be tested.

PGD involves the use of IVF to create embryos. Each embryo will have pre-emergent cells to be analyzed for the intended condition. Multiple cycles can be required to create a bank containing embryos of good quality. Once the results of the PGD analysis are known, the embryos that are free of the genetic problems are chosen for embryo transfer. Note that reglementation in Canada prohibits embryo sex selection unless it is related to an x-linked disease.

Preimplantation Genetic Screening

Genetic screening on embryos is an evolving technology that is increasingly being used, in addition to an IVF cycle, to transfer a healthy embryo.

PGS involves the chromosomal analysis of the embryo. This way embryos that are transferred into the uterus by your fertility doctor are known to be chromosomally normal. This increases pregnancy rates and reduces miscarriage rates. Many embryos that are chromosomally abnormal, will either not implant (resulting in a negative pregnancy test) or if they do implant, result in an early miscarriage. PGS is currently the only method available to determine if an embryo has chromosomal abnormalities or not.

MitoScore

What is the MitoScore analysis: It is a mitochondrial biomarker developed by Igenomix which indicates the energy status of the embryo.

MitoScore is used in addition to morphological observation done by the embryologist. The MitoScore result will help Procrea embryologist to select the normal euploid embryos with higher implantation potential, therefore more likely to result in a viable pregnancy through IVF/PGS (Diez-Juan et al. 2015).

Advantages of MitoScore analysis:

  • Increased implantation and pregnancy rate in IVF
  • Additional information on embryo heath by complementing morphological observations.

Mitochondria and mtDNA:

Mitochondria are structures within cells that play an essential role in energy production.   Although most DNA is found in chromosomes within the nucleus, mitochondria have their own DNA known as mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA.

Mitochondrial DNA content in an embryo is an index of energetic stress, which can be used to predict its implantation potential.  Studies indicate that an increase in mitochondrial DNA in the embryo is an indication of insufficient levels of energy and a low implantation potential.

The MitoScore analysis available only at Procrea Fertilité on day 5 of embryonic development combined with PGS only.