Pre-implantation Genetic Testing Pre-implantation Genetic Testing - Aneuploidy (PGT-A)

In addition to testing for genetic mutations (PGD), embryo freezing has allowed for preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A).

PGT-A looks for abnormalities in chromosome number, such as trisomy 21, which causes Down syndrome, and many others that are likely to result in implantation failure or miscarriage.

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  • What is PGT-A?

    In conjunction with our genetics partner we have developed this video to explain what PGS is.

  • The PGT-A Timeline

    Preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) is performed as part of your intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedure. This treatment has been revolutionary in preventing genetically abnormal embryos from being transferred. We use Next Generation Sequencing to detect chromosomal abnormalities. This testing method enables to test embryos quickly, and accurately and has now been shown in trials to reduce the time to pregnancy and reduce the risk of miscarriage to <5%.

  • Stimulation of the ovaries

    In the stimulation phase of an ICSI cycle, injectable medications are used for approximately 8 to 14 days to stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs. During this phase, a patient will come into the clinic up to 8 times for monitoring and medication adjustment.

  • Egg retrieval

    On the morning of egg retrieval, a patient will meet with a doctor and an anaesthetist to review their medical history including sperm samples being used. Intravenous fluid will be administered to induce sleep. The egg retrieval itself takes about 20 to 30 minutes via ultrasound and removal of egg via a needle.

    The andrology laboratory will wash and prepare the sperm so the healthiest sperm are brought together with the eggs for fertilization (after the doctor performs the egg retrieval).

  • Fertilisation

    After the egg retrieval, the embryologist will prepare the eggs and sperm.For Pre-implantation genetic testing (PGD) the embryologist will inject one single sperm into each mature egg under a microscope. PGD is therefore possible with very few sperm.

  • Genetic Testing

    Once fertilisation occurs and embryos develop over the next 5 to 6 days to the blastocyst stage, an embryologist will biopsy a group of cells from each embryo. The biopsied cells are analysed in a genetic testing laboratory to determine if they are affected with the genetic disorder known to the patient.

    The blastocysts undergo cryopreservation until the results of the analysis are available.

  • Transfer of chromosomally normal embryos

    Once we have the results and we know which embryos are affected, an embryologist can then thaw the embryos that are normal and not affected by a chromosomal abnormality. The doctor will transfer one or more embryos to the uterus in a frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle.

    For some patients all embryos will be shown to be abnormal and no embryos will be transferred.

  • Embryo transfer

    The embryo transfer is a simple procedure that only takes about 5 minutes to complete. There is no anaesthesia or recovery time needed. A patient will review their cycle with the doctor and the number of embryos recommended for transfer. The nurse will give the patient instructions for the following 2 weeks until it's time for the pregnancy test.

  • The pregnancy test

    Two weeks after the embryo transfer, in the privacy of their own home, a patient will perform a pregnancy test and advises the outcome so Glasgow Royal Fertility Clinic can plan the next steps


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