Are IVF Babies Healthy?

Healthy chromosomes, healthy babies thanks to PGS

A baby - that's the most beautiful thing in the world. But sometimes it becomes the most complicated. Then namely, when it just doesn't work out, when the Desire to have children a wish remains. And if, even after years, the desired child is still a long time coming, then often only reproductive medicine such as that offered in our IVI clinic can help. With in-vitro fertilization, many couples often manage their Desire to have children to meet. Especially when a combination of IVF and PGS is used. PGS means pre-implantation genetic screening and is a laboratory technique used to examine the DNA of egg cells. PGS has been used for a long time and is an indispensable part of the path to being fulfilled Desire to have children. Because the analysis using PGS reduces to a considerable extent the risk of premature birth and the risk of giving birth to a sick child. This investigation takes place before Embryo transfer in the uterus to ensure that only healthy embryos are implanted.

Embryos put to the test

If a couple has decided to undergo in vitro fertilization, they have two options. IVF with your own semen or with donor sperm. IVF with foreign sperm is always indicated if the partner is sterile or his fertility is severely restricted. Even if attempts at artificial insemination have failed so far, IVF with donor sperm can be an alternative. And if a human genetic consultation shows that the partner suffers from a hereditary disease that should not be passed on to the child, IVF with foreign sperm is advisable.

And with that a key word came up, namely hereditary disease. Of course, all parents want a healthy baby. It is no different for couples who opt for IVF of any kind. Whether an IVF is carried out with your own semen or foreign semen, the selection of healthy embryos is always decisive for a successful pregnancy. Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) makes it possible to determine the state of health of the embryos at an early stage. The genetic material of the embryo is examined for chromosomal abnormalities. The higher the quality of the embryos, the higher the chances of a successful pregnancy. The chances increase by up to 70%.

Reasons for screening

Why does preimplantation genetic screening even make sense? There are mutliple reasons for this:

  1. If the age of the expectant mother is over 36 years.
  2. If there have been multiple miscarriages during the first three months.
  3. If there is already a child with genetic abnormalities.
  4. For brain damage or family abnormalities.
  5. If there are abnormalities in the pair's chromosomes.

Once the decision has been made in favor of IVF, hormone treatment almost always has to be carried out beforehand, which often takes several weeks. Through the hormonal stimulation of the ovaries, several follicles are supposed to ripen at the same time in order to get several fertilizable egg cells in this way. After ovulation has been initiated, the egg cells are removed and brought together with the partner's semen in the laboratory. In an incubator, fertilization should take place. As soon as the sperm has reached the egg cell, which can be seen by the so-called pronuclei under the microscope, one has reached the stage in which one accesses the PGS before it can be used Embryo transfer comes.

The number of chromosomes is decisive

Because now, after the artificial insemination has taken place, the genetic material of the embryo is examined, so that only the best actually migrate into the uterus. There can be many reasons why not all embryos are equally good. Some are not correctly fertilized and have only one, instead of two pronuclei and thus instead of 46, only 23 chromosomes. Others, on the other hand, have three pronuclei and have 69 chromosomes, which means that no normal child can develop. The possibilities of a faulty fertilization are therefore very great. Because only if embryos with the correct number of chromosomes are transferred, the prospect of implantation in the egg cell is guaranteed. The risk of miscarriages is reduced, as is the risk of having a child with genetic abnormalities that are chromosomally related. PGS can help with this. In order to conduct an examination, however, the embryos must be developed to the point where they have several cells. This is the case on the third day of fertilization. Because now the embryo has divided so far that it consists of eight cells. Or you wait until the blastocyst stage, on day five, when you can already identify two different cell types.

The genetic analysis

Whether on the third or fifth day, in both cases a biopsy is performed on each individual embryo and subjected to a precise genetic analysis. PGS can detect imbalances in terms of chromosomes, which are necessary for the detection of chromosomal diseases.

Preimplantation genetic screening takes place within 48 hours and can use various methods. With the FISH method, fluorescence in situ hybridization, a chromosome with two genes can be detected with the aid of a fluorescent dye. With this, for example, Down syndrome can be recognized. The aCGH technique is an advanced technique to detect chromosomal imbalances, while numerous chromosome changes can be detected with PCR, a polymerase chain reaction. These molecular biological and chromosomal DNA techniques provide highly accurate and precise results. Other chromosomal defects can also be identified in this way, such as those found in Turner syndrome. The same applies to gene mutations that are responsible for hemophilia or sickle cell anemia.

The chances of success

Once the entire analysis has been completed and the chromosomally healthy embryos have been identified, the embryo transfer can now take place. This is how the healthy embryo is selected and transferred to the uterus. Surplus egg cells are frozen in order to be able to use them again for a later attempt at treatment, so that a new egg collection is not necessary.

The Embryo transfer is done through the vagina using a catheter. The intervention is as good as not noticeable and a short time later the women can go home again. That the Desire to have children comes true is only a matter of time. Because we can proudly point out that not only highly specialized experts work in our IVI clinic. Nine out of ten couples who consult us about fertility problems leave our facility as happy parents. This makes us one of Europe's clinics with the best pregnancy results.

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