During the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, a woman’s eggs are extracted from her ovaries and then fertilized with sperm in a laboratory in order to create embryos that can further develop before being transferred into the patient’s uterus. The egg fertilization procedure is performed by an embryologist who also oversees the growth and development of the embryos until they are transferred to the patient.
The fertilization process may result in multiple embryos being produced and this embryo development phase is the optimum time for pre genetic testing (PGT) to take place in the laboratory. An embryologist who is an expert in determining the preferred stage of embryo development will identify the optimum time to perform an embryo biopsy.
Stages of Embryo Development
There are two stages of embryo development:
- Cleavage stage – typically two to three days after fertilization
- Blastocyst stage – typically five to six days after fertilization
At Kofinas Fertility Institute, Dr. George Kofinas is of the professional opinion that the blastocyst stage is the preferred stage of embryo development to do an embryo biopsy.
Kofinas Fertility Institute and Embryo Biopsy
Kofinas Fertility Institute uses state of the ART technologies to biopsy and test embryos for genetic disease and chromosomal abnormalities. Embryo biopsy is particularly useful for women in their advanced maternal years trying to get pregnant through the IVF procedure.
Dr. George Kofinas also recommends embryo biopsy and PGT be undertaken during the IVF process for:
- Patients who have or are carriers of a known genetic disorder
- Patients who have experienced recurrent miscarriage
- Patients whose ovaries are not functioning optimally
- Patients who have had multiple failed infertility treatments
Embryo Biopsy Process During the Cleavage Stage of Development
An embryo biopsy is performed by an embryologist who removes a small number of cells from each embryo produced and screens these cells for genetic abnormalities.
After the embryologist removes the cells from the embryo (the biopsy), screening will be conducted using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), microarray, genome sequencing, or single – nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).
Only chromosomally normal embryos will then be selected for transfer into the patient’s uterus for an improved successful implantation and the avoidance of transmitting an embryo having a genetic disorder.
Kofinas Fertility Institute and Favored Candidates for Embryo Biopsy
Dr. Kofinas prefers blastocyst stage biopsy (5 to 6 days of development) versus cleavage stage embryo biopsy for patients undergoing an IVF procedure because cleavage stage biopsy is less accurate and could have a detrimental effect on implantation success.
To receive the answers to the questions you have on embryo stages of development and embryo biopsy for PGT purposes, contact Kofinas Fertility Institute.