5 Most Common Myths About IVF Genetic Testing

Did you know approximately 70% of embryos chosen for IVF never successfully get implanted in the uterus?

Chromosomal abnormalities and genetic mutations are two causes for the high failure rate.

IVF genetic testing can help identify these issues and reduce the odds of a failed pregnancy. However, there are many misconceptions floating around about the topic. Therefore, it can be hard to decipher what’s true and what’s not on your own.

Here are 5 of the biggest falsehoods surrounding IVF genetic testing. Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating trend!

1. There’s No Difference Between PGS and PGD

PGS and PGD are often lumped together. As a result, many women assume that the two terms are completely interchangeable.

In reality, they’re two separate but closely related techniques.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) looks for single-gene defects. Using this procedure, you can determine whether a baby will be born with a genetic disease.

On the other hand, preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) is essentially a chromosomal test. It’s used to ensure that the embryo doesn’t have too many or too few chromosomes.

2. Testing Guarantees a Successful Pregnancy

Women going through in vitro fertilization want to maximize their odds of having a child. But some women may get the idea that genetic testing eliminates all chances of pregnancy loss.

Well, there’s some great news for women, particularly those with recurrent miscarriages. Research shows that PGD decreases pregnancy loss for RM patients 35 and older from 44.5% to 12%.

That said, even younger women don’t have a 100% success rate. So, when considering testing, remember that there are no guarantees.

3. Everyone Should Do Genetic Testing

PGS does an excellent job of identifying chromosome abnormalities. But that doesn’t necessarily mean all women need it.

For example, a 25-year-old woman only has a 1-in-476 chance of having a baby with a chromosomal issue. In comparison, a 40-year-old woman has a 1-in-92 chance.

While younger women can pursue screening, older women benefit more from it. Moreover, parents who carry genetic diseases benefit more from PGD.

4. IVF Genetic Testing Cannot Damage the Embryo

While genetic testing can be useful, some women assume it poses no risk for the embryo.

It’s important to remember that testing requires the removal of at least one cell from the embryo. Due to it being an invasive procedure, it leaves some possibility for embryo damage.

However, there’s no harm in the long-run. Embryos that become damaged simply stop developing. If growth continues, the likelihood of miscarriage remains unaffected.

5. Genetic Testing Creates Designer Babies

Unfortunately, IVF genetic testing sometimes gets a bad wrap. Some people believe that it will lead to dreaded “designer babies.”

As it stands, that’s not the case, and there’s no indication it ever will be. Technology simply doesn’t support screening for most characteristics.

At most, you can use genetic testing to determine the gender of an embryo. In the US, clinics can decide whether they want to offer this option.

Final Thoughts

IVF genetic testing allows doctors to pick out healthy embryos and put them into the uterus. This greatly increases the odds of having a successful pregnancy.

However, as we learned, it’s not necessary for all women.

Remember, there is a difference between PGS and PGD. As long as you go in with realistic expectations, both procedures can be very valuable.

If you’re looking for fertility care, request an appointment with us. We can’t wait to meet you!