A Comprehensive Guide to PGS and PGD Testing of Your Embryos
Infertility can be an emotionally-charged word for both men and women.
It defines an inability to conceive a child after a year’s worth of attempting. For women who are 35 years or older, this period is shrunk down to six months.
Infertility is also more common than anyone might think. 10% of women, which is 6.1 million, in the United States between the ages of 15 and 44 have difficulties with pregnancy. This number may be incorrect, too, since many women find it difficult to come forward with their problems.
Typically, infertility is a shared problem. Women can account for one-third of the problem but so can men. The remaining third rests in difficulties between both partners.
The problem for those issues may be unknown.
Because problems with fertility are so common, many men and women are looking at surrogacy as the means in order to have their baby.
A fertility clinic can offer an egg donor and a sperm donor, and scheduling an appointment with your local fertility clinic should be the first step towards surrogacy.
This article will discuss the problems with fertility and the benefits of choosing surrogacy in California.
The chief of these benefits is the ability to undergo genetic testing in order to ensure that your baby has as many advantages as possible to live a successful and healthy life. In particular, the article shall focus on PGT testing and all of its components.
For men, they may experience difficulties with fertility due to a condition known as varicocele. In this condition, the man’s testicle or testicles are too large.
This is a problem because it can generate too much heat. The heat can cook the sperm and kill them.
As such, the number of sperm is reduced which means there are less available to successfully find an egg.
Men may also experience problems with their fertility due to problems that make their sperm count decrease.
If a man is injured, then it might make the shape of their sperm incorrect. With an incorrect shape, the sperm cell may find it difficult to move and seek an egg.
For women, the primary problem with their fertility rests with their ovulation cycle. A common problem in ovulation is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.
This problem stems from a hormone imbalance. Primary ovarian insufficiency or POI is another common problem that can lead to difficulties with fertility. This occurs when the ovaries stop functioning correctly before the woman turns 40 years old.
Other issues that may cause fertility problems in women are blockages in their fallopian tubes, physical uterus problems, and non-cancerous clumps within the uterus.
Luckily, even a couple who experiences difficulties with pregnancy can still have a child. They just require surrogacy.
One of the worst situations that you can find yourself in is discovering that your baby has a genetic disease.
This is something that could have been prevented if you had taken the time to undergo Preimplantation Testing.
Understandably, you want to find a surrogate mother who is healthy, but your baby’s health is also important to you. Preimplantation Testing can ensure your baby remains healthy and or free from a genetic disease.
There are two different tests that you can benefit from.
They’re called Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGD and Preimplantation Genetic Screening or PGS. Both involve a biopsy. This biopsy is typically collected and completed on day five or six during the development of the embryo.
PGD Testing essentially helps doctors look for genetic defects that may exist within the embryo.
If any are noticed, doctors are able to prevent them from being passed onto the child. There are a few steps involved during PGD Testing.
After five days of development, an embryo’s cells are microsurgically removed for testing. Once this collection has taken place, the embryo is safely frozen.
The DNA of those cells are then closely examined. During this process, which can sometimes take up to a week, doctors will examine if any problematic genes were inherited by the embryo.
Once doctors are certain that the embryo is free from any genetic problems, it is then placed back in the uterus or fallopian tube of the respective surrogate or intended parent.
After this, implantation can occur. Because more than one embryo is taken a time, those that were also removed and checked for genetic problems are frozen if they were found to be healthy. This is so they can be used later if the need arises.
Those embryos that were discovered to have genetic issues are destroyed.
The process of PGD can take a few weeks.
This is because it requires several steps. First, they need to be collected, but that can only take place five days after it has been fertilized.
Then there are one to two weeks’ worth of waiting while the doctors meticulously check each embryo that they collected.
Once those tests are finished, you then have to schedule an appointment with your doctor to go over the results.
Finally, an appointment has to be made for the embryo to be placed back within the mother or surrogate mother’s body.
Patience is a vital part of this testing procedure.
It’s understandable that you’re anxious and excited to have a baby.
However, you need to ensure that you are doing everything you can to give your baby the best chance possible.
That includes waiting a few weeks to know if there are any genetic problems that your embryo might have inherited.
There are clearly quite a few benefits of PGD.
One of the biggest is that a PGD test can look for more than 100 different mutations in the embryo’s genes. Most of the time this form of test can occur before implantation and is encouraged to be done before starting the process of surrogacy. This means that a couple can decide to forego pursuing a pregnancy with these individual embryos prior to implantation if a serious problem is detected within the embryo.
Finally, it allows you to have the information that you need in regards to the health and development of your child. With this knowledge, you can choose to accept the disease or search for a safer means of having a baby.
For example, you may decide that you need a donor from someone who does not have the genetic trait that will create a disease or condition in your baby. Or, if the condition is treatable, it will allow you to plan and prepare for the treatments that your baby will need to have in order to survive or cope with their disease or condition.
It should be noted that PGD cannot determine all genetic diseases and conditions. This is because some diseases are only present when an individual reaches a certain age.
For example, some diseases may require the child to go through puberty before it is activated.
However, PGD can offer parents an initial glimpse of a large number of diseases and conditions that their baby may or may not suffer from.
Preimplantation Genetic Screening is another powerful tool that couples can benefit from.
Again, while this screening tool is popular among couples who are using in-vitro fertilization, it can be performed for practically any couple regardless of what fertility treatment that they’re seeking. PGS Testing is vital.
After you find a surrogate mother, the next step that you take should be PGS Testing of your embryos if it is not already done.
PGS specifically relates to testing the number of chromosomes in an embryo. A healthy individual should have 46 pairs of chromosomes.
However, certain genetic issues can result in the removal or addition of chromosomes. This different number can greatly impact a baby’s quality of life.
While some intended parents may not feel the need to ensure that the embryo has all 46 pairs of chromosomes, this is a mistake.
The last thing that intended parents need is to discover that their baby has a genetic problem because they didn’t take the time to have a PGS test performed.
Some of the issues that a couple may experience with too many or too few chromosomes are a problem with implantation in terms of fertilization treatment, an increase in the chance of having a miscarriage, and an increase in developing a genetic disease.
In fact, one of the most common chromosomal problems is Down Syndrome.
While a surrogate mother may be able to circumvent some of these problems, even they will face difficulties carrying an embryo with too many or too few chromosomes.
PGS is conducted before the embryo is transferred. It takes place three days after the sperm has been connected to the embryo.
A blastocyst biopsy is performed where a small sample of the embryo is taken and placed in a tube.
This tube is then given to a genetics lab where they take a look at the number of chromosomes in the sample. Those doctors then give a report on their findings.
If everything checks out, then the embryo is transferred back into the intended parent’s body or the body of the surrogate mother.
When it comes to pregnancy or fertility treatment, having PGS performed is just another step that needs to occur.
This is especially true in the case of those who are using donors. You never know if their genetics might preclude from a healthy development of chromosomes. Instead, they might increase or decrease the chromosomal number. You won’t know without PGS.
In addition, some studies have shown that having a single PGS performed may not offer an accurate window of information.
As with most tests, the more screenings that are performed, the greater the accuracy of the results.
Once you find a surrogate, you should begin the steps of having a PGS performed. Similar to PGD, it can take several days to receive the results. The sooner that the intended parents start, the sooner you can have their surrogate mother start to carry their child.
The point of PGTs is to have an understanding of any problems that may arise during the development of your child both before birth and after birth.
Surrogacy is an amazing method for conceiving a child when it might not have been possible beforehand.
However, it also allows parents the opportunity to check on the health of their child. For those who need to find a surrogate in order to have a child, PGTs also can offer them a sense of relief in knowing that the process of carrying their baby can be just that much easier.
There is a huge amount of genetic diseases that your baby may be prone to. Here are some of the most common ones.
Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease or PKD is a genetic disorder that involves the growth of cysts in the kidneys.
As the cysts grow in both size and number, it can lead to kidney failure and death. The statistics for its development are 1 in 400 to 1 in 1,000 babies.
Typically, this disorder is developed in adults. However, testing can be performed to suggest the risk that your baby might have of eventually developing this disease.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease or CMT is a neurological disease that can be inherited from a baby’s parents.
This disease slowly reduces an individual’s ability to use their foot, forearm, hand, lower leg, and can essentially make them lose their fingers and toes. The recently discovered GARS gene seems to play a role in the development of CMT.
As a result, doctors can help parents who face passing on that infected gene to their baby more accurately.
Down Syndrome is one final, though certainly not least, a genetic disorder that a baby may develop.
This condition occurs when a baby receives an extra chromosome 21 during embryonic development. It often entails learning disabilities, heart defects, mental retardation, and hearing loss.
Surrogate Agency California
Surrogacy is an effective method for having a child when a couple is unable to conceive traditionally.
However, it’s important that you find the right surrogacy agency in California in order to receive the best results.
Not all surrogate agencies are created equal, but at Made in the USA Surrogacy- we intentionally put parents hopes and dreams first as our main focus to make sure your experience is amazing!
In-Vitro Fertilization or IVF is a popular method for many surrogacies.
IVF is a common choice in women whose fallopian tubes are physically blocked, twisted, or have clumps within them that make it impossible for ovaries to pass through them.
It’s also a common choice for when men have a small sperm count. In-vitro fertilization means fertilization that takes place outside of the body. For a couple who chooses IVF, the process is quite simple.
A doctor gives the woman a medicine that essentially makes their ovaries produce a large number of eggs. Those eggs are then collected and placed in a dish. This dish also contains the man’s sperm. Because the dish is smaller and restricted, it basically forces the sperm and eggs to join together. There are no obstructions to keep the sperm and egg from fertilization. Once they have been fertilized, the eggs are then placed back in the woman’s uterus where she grows the baby normally.
While in-vitro fertilization may be a popular choice for many couples, it doesn’t work for everyone.
A surrogate agency in California that is reputable and experienced can suggest options or fertility clinics but it is ultimately up to the intended parents and their surrogate mother of what option is best for them.
This is because in-vitro fertilization isn’t always possible for women who have issues with their uterus or men who can’t produce sperm at all.
That’s why it is critical that you find a fertility clinic that can offer some of these other fertility treatments.
Zygote intrafallopian transfer or ZIFT is another option for a couple that struggles with fertility.
This is also known as Tubal Embryo Transfer.
The process is similar to IVF in that the egg and sperm are taken from the woman and man. Except instead of being placed in a dish, they are placed in a tube. Once fertilization has occurred, the eggs are then placed not inside of the uterus but within the fallopian tube instead.
Another fertility option that couples can consider is Gamete intrafallopian transfer or GIFT.
This is a rare form of treatment but it basically entails the eggs and sperms being moved into the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. This allows fertilization to occur within the woman’s body.
One final, though certainly not the last, form of fertility treatment is Intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI.
This is a treatment that’s available for those who are having serious problems with their fertility. It’s common for those who have extremely low counts of sperm as well as those couples are a bit older.
In this event, the sperm is directly injected into the egg in order to fertilize it. Once the sperm is attached to the egg, it is placed back inside the woman’s uterus or fallopian tube.
Clearly, there are quite a few options to choose from.
Intended parents and surrogate mothers who meet through a surrogate agency can discuss which is the best option for them. An egg donor and a sperm donor can make a couple’s dreams come true.
However, it’s just as important to know the genetic makeup of those donors as it is your own.
Testing your embryos is very important to know the state of health of your own embryos as well as any lurking genetic problems that you may be passing on.
Genetic diseases and conditions can exist within you without you even realizing it.
This is because they’re not expressed. In order for a gene to be expressed, it needs to have a dominant portion of an accompanying gene.
Perhaps one of your parents carried the positive trait for a genetic disease but the other didn’t. You’re still carrying half of that positive trait within you. However, because the other parent didn’t, it is not expressed within you.
Your partner may also carry a positive trait in their genes. When that trait is combined with the seemingly invisible trait in you, it becomes dominant.
At last, the genetic disease can be expressed.
Your child will suffer from that disease. No parent wants to knowingly give their child a disease or condition that they will suffer from for the rest of their lives.
Instead, parents need to obtain information about their health on the genetic level.
Testing your embryos is the best method for ensuring that your child starts their life as healthy as possible. For intended parents who are relying on someone else to grow and develop their baby through surrogacy and/or are relying on donors, it’s also vital that you receive embryo testing information from them.
You need to first go to a surrogate agency that requires their surrogates to review their medical records.
Since intended parents will likely have to pay for the cost of the testing, this is a step that they need to consider carefully with their surrogate.
Have Your Genes Tested
Genetics play a crucial role in your baby’s health.
For intended parents seeking surrogacy, you should utilize every test available to ensure your baby is given the best possible healthy start.
If you or your partner have any questions regarding the PGS/PGT testing, we encourage you to inquire further with your fertility clinic or give us a call at 916-226-4342.
If you are looking for a surrogate mother or for a reputable surrogate agency in Sacramento, we are your number one source for all things surrogacy! Please do not hesitate to contact us by filling in this form, and we will start looking for a surrogate as soon as possible.