Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) is a method of testing embryos for genetic conditions in order to select the healthiest embryos for implantation.
When to Consider this Service
PGT is indicated if you or your partner carry or are affected with a serious genetic disease that may be passed on to your offspring. The purpose of PGT is to choose an embryo that is not affected by the disease. If the genetic testing involves a single gene or 'monogenic' condition, it is referred to as PGT-M (Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Monogenic Disorders). If the genetic condition involves a chromosome rearrangement such as a translocation or inversion, it is called PGT-SR (Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Structural Rearrangements).
What to Expect During Treatment
We have a specialized PGT team at Olive, including Dr. Albert Yuzpe, Nora, our PGT Nurse Coordinator, and our Genetic Counsellors, Rachel, Colleen, and Sarah. As a first step, Dr. Yuzpe will meet with anyone interested in learning more about PGT to discuss the steps involved and review whether PGT may be an option, given their personal and family history. After this session, individuals or couples interested in pursuing PGT will have a session with one of our Genetic Counsellors. This session is designed to answer any questions about the current genetic issue, to review the steps involved at Olive in coordination with the US testing lab, and to explain the testing procedure and potential outcomes. The PGT nurse coordinator will be in touch to ensure there are no other fertility issues that need to be addressed, and to coordinate the IVF cycle. The Olive PGT team is specialized to be with you every step of the way.
PGT requires going through an IVF or ICSI cycle to obtain embryos which are subsequently biopsied in the laboratory. Depending on your situation, additional blood testing may be required for you and your partner. One or several cells from the embryo are sent to an expert genetic testing facility, and the results are obtained 2-3 weeks later. While waiting for the test results, your embryos will be cryopreserved so that they are ready to transfer when the results are available and the timing is right for your cycle. The results of the genetic testing will be discussed with you by Dr. Yuzpe or one of the Genetic Counsellors.
How Successful Is It?
The diagnostic accuracy of PGT is between 90-99% when looking for a known genetic condition. However, the chances of a successful pregnancy will depend on multiple factors, including your age, hormone profile, and past history. Your physician at Olive will review these details with you.
How Much Does It Cost?
The costs involve the expense of an IVF-ICSI cycle plus the fees for the genetic testing process, which are approximately $5000-$7000.
What Are the Risks?
In addition, the PGT procedure -- while very well established -- may have some unknown effects on the health of the embryo and offspring. These risks are theoretical and likely small, but will be not be fully understood for many more years, when more data is collected on children born after these procedures.
It is also possible that the all of the embryos are found to be genetically abnormal, in which case a pregnancy in that cycle will not be possible.
How to Get Started
Ask your GP or walk-in clinic for a referral to Olive. Your Olive physician will review the details and help you get started.