by: Jill Carrozza, BS, Embryologist @ Carolina Conceptions
I recently had the privilege to attend an ASRM (American Society of Reproductive Medicine) meeting in San Antonio, TX. This meeting is a compilation of fellow reproductive endocrinologists, nurses, laboratory directors, embryologists and andrologists who come together to learn, compare and get involved with the latest ideas and new technologies in the field of IVF and Reproductive medicine.
At this meeting, I presented a poster summarizing the data from a recent study completed at Carolina Conceptions to analyze the benefits of using PGS for women of advanced maternal age (ages 35+). For those who may not know exactly what PGS is, here is a quick summary. Preimplantation Genetic Screening is a process where a few cells are removed from an expanded blastocyst on day 5 and/or 6, placed in a lysing buffer, frozen, and sent to a laboratory where these cells will undergo screening for genetic abnormalities. Once the results are reported, we are able to identify euploid (normal) or aneuploid (abnormal) embryos’. This process is truly beneficially for older patients because as we mature, so do our eggs. By using PGS, we’re able to identify genetically normal embryos and reduce miscarriages for patients.
The objective of our analysis was to compare outcomes of implantation rate and miscarriage rate in women 35 years or older undergoing an embryo transfer with or without PGS (Preimplantation Genetic Screening). 486 fresh or frozen embryo transfers with or without PGS in patients 35 years or older were compiled and compared. The results were then broken down according to age groups: 35 to 37 years, 38 to 40 years, and over 40 years old.
As you can see from the charts, patients who utilized PGS had higher implantation rates and lower miscarriage rates compared to patients who did not use PGS. This is especially noticeable as the patients’ age increases. What also is noticeable, is the number of embryos transferred. On average, the number of embryos transferred decreases from roughly 2 to 1 for older patients using PGS. Now some may say, “How is this beneficial, I’d love to have twins! 2 for the price of 1.” While twins are lovely, many things can go wrong for the mother and babies during and after pregnancy. By transferring fewer embryos, we’re able to maintain a healthy and safe pregnancy for both the mother and child.
PGS is a great option for women 35 or older. It improves implantation rates, reduces miscarriages, and reduces the number of embryos for transfer. Here at Carolina Conceptions, there are two companies we use for PGS: Good Start Genetics and Genesis Genetics. Both are highly recommended and yield similar results. Our doctors will discuss which option is right for you. Remember, we want all our patients to have the best opportunities to start or complete their families!
For those interested in a more comprehensive look at our findings, take a look at this chart:
- # ET = Number of Embryos Transferred
- PR = Pregnancy Rate
- CPR = Clinical Pregnancy, confirmed by both hCG test & ultrasound
- IR = Implantation Rate – confirmed heart beat via ultrasound
- MR = Miscarriage Rate
Watch CC Lab Director, Dr. Sung Tae Kim perform an embryo biopsy for an IVF patient who chose PGS.