Worrying about the health of your unborn child is a common and normal part of pregnancy. Those feelings can be intensified when your family has a history of serious illness or if you’re having difficulty becoming pregnant.
Preimplantation genetic testing can screen embryos created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) to see whether they have a genetic abnormality that can cause a serious illness. If you or your partner has a family history of a serious illness caused by gender abnormality and you are undergoing IVF, your doctor may recommend preimplantation genetic testing.
Preimplantation genetic testing is performed by taking some cells from fertilized embryos and analyzing the genes. Once the embryos without genetic abnormalities are identified, they are then placed in the mother’s uterus.
Preimplantation genetic testing can also check embryos for common chromosomal abnormalities that could lead to a miscarriage or a disorder like Down’s syndrome. Your doctor may suggest preimplantation genetic testing if you or your partner has a history of chromosomal abnormalities, repeated miscarriages or in other specific situations.
Once you have the results of your preimplantation genetic testing, you’ll be able to consult with your doctor about which embryos to implant during IVF. Preimplantation genetic testing can’t guarantee a healthy baby, but it can significantly lessen the chances that your baby will be born with a genetic condition.
As your baby develops, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about what kind of prenatal care and testing you should have. Monitoring your baby’s health remains important even with preimplantation genetic testing.