Can You Do PGS Testing on Frozen Embryos?
By Dr. Kalan on May 22, 2020
Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) is a test that allows our Encino, CA, fertility doctors to examine the genetic makeup of an embryo to ensure that it contains the appropriate number of chromosomes. PGS embryo testing allows us to identify any genetic abnormalities that could interfere with the success of IVF treatment.
At Los Angeles Reproductive Center, many of our patients use frozen embryos for IVF. Because there are so many benefits to PGS testing, it is common for individuals to ask if PGS testing can also be performed on frozen embryos. Fortunately, PGS testing is still completely viable for frozen embryos and can improve our patients’ chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby.
How Is PGS Testing Performed?
PGS testing is normally performed as part of IVF treatment. After retrieved eggs have been fertilized, the resulting embryos are tested, usually on day five of development. To perform a PGS test, three to five cells are gently extracted from the embryo. A laboratory technician who has been trained in DNA analysis will examine these cells to confirm that they contain a full set of 46 chromosomes. Within one to seven days, the technician will also be able to identify the gender and determine if the embryo is suitable for transfer.
Testing on Frozen Embryos
Sometimes our Bakersfield patients undergo IVF treatment using frozen embryos, either because they saved embryos from a previous IVF cycle, or because they froze embryos in the past for health or personal reasons. If these embryos did not undergo PGS testing prior to being frozen, it can still be done afterward. In these situations, potential embryos are thawed and then tested as normal. Our fertility doctors can help patients select embryos for transfer, based on the information provided by the PGS test.
It is normal to thaw multiple embryos when performing PGS testing, since we cannot be sure that they will all be genetically and chromosomally normal. Since couples frequently opt to transfer just one or two of the tested embryos, it is reasonable to ask what will happen to remaining embryos that are tested and not transferred. After an embryo has been thawed and tested, it can either be disposed of (if the results of testing were not positive) or it can be refrozen for a future IVF cycle.
Candidates for PGS Testing
A number of our Los Angeles patients can benefit from PGS testing. Candidates for PGS testing of either frozen or fresh embryos include:
- Women over the age of 35
- Patients who want to selectively implant a single embryo to avoid the risks of a multiples birth
- Patients with previous failed IVF cycles
- Patients with a history of miscarriage, particularly those that are unexplained
- Patients with a previous chromosomal abnormal pregnancy
- Couples who have a single-gene disorder or a sex-linked genetic disorder
- Couples who want to select the gender of their child
Contact Our Fertility Team
PGS testing provides valuable information that can increase the chance of successful IVF treatment for our patients. If you have more questions about PGS, the fertility doctors at Los Angeles Reproductive Center would be happy to answer them. Send us a message to learn more or call (818) 208-5481 at your earliest convenience.
Los Angeles Reproductive Center is a unique fertility clinic focused on treating patients like family and built upon the principles of communication, compassion, warmth, openness, and service that accompanies an exceptional pregnancy rate. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.