Monash IVF exclusively offers the latest advance in preimplantation genetic testing.

This is a new type of test where scientists take a sample of the leftover nutrient solution (culture media) that the embryo has been growing in while in the laboratory.

This solution contains DNA produced by the embryo which can be used for genetic testing. As this procedure can test blastocysts irrespective of stage or quality it can be used for embryos that are not able to be biopsied by day 6.

How the new non-invasive embryo screening test works.

 

Figure 1: Current worldwide genetic test biopsy process where 5-10% of the embryo cell mass is removed to perform the genetic DNA test. This test can only performed on the strongest embryos. Some embryos do not survive the biopsy procedure.

 

Figure 2: New test method. DNA is extracted from the culture media the embryo is growing in. This means all embryos – regardless of the strength – can be DNA tested. This opens up DNA testing to all IVF patients.

What are the expected outcomes?

If the test predicts the embryo is very likely to have the right number of chromosomes and is considered genetically suitable for transfer, it can be thawed for use in a frozen embryo transfer cycle.

It is well documented that the frequency of chromosomal aneuploidy increases with maternal age. Therefore, older women will be less likely to obtain a chromosomally normal embryo for transfer compared with younger women. Encouragingly, the data indicates that once a chromosomally normal embryo is identified for transfer following testing, the pregnancy rate in older women is not significantly different from that of younger women.

It is important to note that:

  • This procedure can only be performed on ICSI cycles.
  • Not all embryos release enough DNA for a result to be obtained. To maximise the chance of having enough DNA to work with, embryos have to be cultured and remain viable until Day 6. Around 4% of embryos do not secrete enough DNA and will result in a technical failure of the test.
  • Our in-house studies have demonstrated that non-invasive PGT results are identical to the embryo biopsy PGT results in 95% of the cases. Therefore, it is important to note that this method is not 100% accurate.

What are the costs?

The cost of this test is $495 per embryo

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