Pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) is a genetic screening test that gives information about your embryo's genetic health to help us select the embryos with the most potential for transfer to improve your chance of achieving a successful pregnancy.
The first cell of an embryo is made up of a set of chromosomes from the sperm and another set from the egg. If the cell doesn’t have the right number of chromosomes, this can lead to implantation failure or miscarriage. PGT-A allows us to analyse the cells from an embryo to check for the correct number of chromosomes before they’re transferred to the womb.
By using PGT-A, our embryologists have up to a 98% chance of identifying embryos with abnormalities before transfer. Embryo selection can help improve IVF success rates and reduce both the chance of multiple pregnancies and the likelihood of miscarriage.
The risk of miscarriage can be reduced
PGT-A can help with decisions about future treatment options
Clinical pregnancy rates (CPR) are increased at Care Fertility
Benefits for Care patients
- A clear and straightforward pricing approach which makes PGT-A more cost effective
- Time lapse imaging with Caremaps-AI is included.
- Specially trained doctors and genetic counsellors to provide you with specialist PGT-A advice
Who can benefit from Pre-implantation Genetic Testing (PGT-A)?
PGT-A is suitable for all patients, but in particular:
- People who want to achieve a quicker route to pregnancy
- Patients who have experienced recurrent miscarriages of unknown cause or anyone who has been through previous unsuccessful IVF treatment
- A high number of people who have been in the position where they feel that their only option is to give up and then have PGT-A, in many cases they manage to have a baby
- Where the female partner is 36 years of age or older
- Patients who have had a previous child or pregnancy diagnosed with a chromosome abnormality
- Patients who produce many embryos and want to ensure transfer of an embryo of known chromosome status to optimise chances of success (we know that up to 50% of embryos in any one cycle may be chromosomally abnormal)
What is PGT-A and how is it performed at Care?
Following fertilisation, an embryo divides into 2 cells, then four, eight, sixteen and so on, until 5 or 6 days after fertilisation there are over 100 cells. At this stage the embryo is known as a blastocyst and it has an outer layer of cells called the trophoblast which surround the outside of the embryo. These are the cells that develop into the placenta. There is also a ball of cells inside the trophoblast called the inner cell mass and it is these cells that develop into the foetus and then baby. In PGT-A, approximately 5 cells are removed from the outer layer of the blastocyst. This procedure, called a biopsy, is performed by a highly skilled senior embryologist. Biopsied embryos are then cryopreserved (frozen) and the biopsied cells are sent to a specialist laboratory for PGT-A analysis.
The results of the PGT-A test are available within a few weeks. If the biopsied cells have 46 chromosomes, the embryo they came from is considered euploid and the transfer of these embryos can take place in a frozen embryo replacement cycle. Where the biopsied cells had fewer or more that 46 chromosomes, the embryo they came from is considered aneuploid and the embryos are not used in treatment. Occasionally, the results are more complex to interpret and, in these cases, Care has access to expert genetic counselling services to help patients decide whether to transfer an embryo or not.
Studies have shown that removal of cells from the blastocyst doesn’t harm the embryo’s development and thousands of babies have been born after transfer of embryos that were biopsied.
What does PGT-A involve?
Usually our embryologists choose embryos for transfer based on the way they look and develop. This certainly does work, but PGT-A lets us go deeper, allowing us to analyse the genetic makeup of embryos and check that they have the right number of chromosomes before they’re transferred to the womb.
By using PGT-A our embryologists can single out embryos with abnormalities before transfer.
With PGT-A, each embryo will have one of four results
The PGT-A Process
What are the risks of PGT-A and blastocyst biopsy?
The independent regulator of fertility treatment, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), has developed a new rating system and provides information about treatments that are offered on top of your routine fertility treatment – known as treatment add-ons. Their add-on ratings are based on published evidence, which the HFEA deems to be of suitable quality and quantity.
For each add-on, ratings are provided for treatment outcomes, and for patient populations, for which this evidence was available at the time.
The HFEA has given PGT-A several ratings because they consider it to be beneficial for specific patient types, and not for all patients.
For miscarriage reduction overall, PGT-A has been rated green, meaning that there is high quality evidence demonstrating its effectiveness.
For improving live birth rate for most women, the rating is red, indicating that this add-on may reduce treatment effectiveness for some patients. Other outcomes measures have been rated grey which indicates there is insufficient evidence to confirm either way.
We believe it is important that you have all the information you need before you decide to have treatment using PGT-A. We also recommend that you read the information on the HFEA website regarding add-ons and how the ratings were decided, before making a decision.