One of the most common causes of miscarriages, or a failed IVF cycle, is genetic problems in the embryo.
Up to 70% of embryos, whether conceived naturally or through IVF, are lost before birth. This usually occurs within the first three months of pregnancy, most often before implantation.
Women over 38 years of age are at greatest risk of conceiving a baby with a chromosomal abnormality.
We can now test for over 60 specific genetic disorders, including Huntingdon’s disease, Cystic Fibrosis and thalassaemia, using Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). This can help couples at risk of transferring a genetic disease, so they can have a healthy baby.
We also offer a breakthrough approach to testing for chromosomal abnormalities during IVF treatment, Advanced Embryo Selection. This allows us to test an embryo before transfer, to ensure we use the embryo with the best chance of success.
What is a chromosome?
A human cell contains genetic material arranged in dense strands, called chromosomes. A normal cell will contain 23 pairs of chromosomes. Fertilisation combines 22 chromosomes and an X chromosome from the mother’s egg with 22 chromosomes and either an X or Y chromosome from the father’s sperm. An embryo then has 46 chromosomes – if it’s a female, with two X chromosomes, and if it’s a male, with an X and a Y chromosome.
A gene is a sequence of DNA (genetic material) on a chromosome with a particular function.