By taking a few cells from the embryo at the blastocyst stage (an embryo that has been growing in the laboratory for 5-6 days) we can identify embryos that either do not have the correct complement of chromosomes or have known genetic disease. The process does not harm the blastocyst but this option is very important for patients that have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss, failed IVF cycles, need to select embryos that are chromosomally normal or for patients that have known genetic disease.
Our highly skilled embryologists perform trophectoderm biopsy, the gold standard of pre-implantation genetic testing, to achieve this. This involves taking 3-5 cells from the trophectoderm portion (the cell lineage that will form the placenta) of the blastocyst. Once we have taken the cells from the embryo, we freeze the embryos while we await the genetic results and then transfer the appropriate embryos in a frozen embryo transfer cycle.