The Fertility Center of Las Vegas

Preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic disorders can help end the cycle of inheritable genetic illness

In the past, parents didn’t have a way to prevent their children from inheriting a genetic illness. They simply had to hope and pray that they would have healthy children. However, reproductive medicine has come a long way, and we have preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic disorders, or PGT-M. When added to an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle, this form of genetic testing can determine which embryos do not have or carry a specific genetic illness.

How does preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic disorders work?

Our Las Vegas fertility doctors often recommend PGT-M when preconception genetic testing shows that patients carry a genetic disorder.

In the IVF lab, an embryologist will remove a few cells from a blastocyst. A blastocyst is a Day 5 or Day 6 embryo. After the biopsy, the embryologist will send the cells to a genetics lab where the team will analyze them using a specialized genetic probe from the patients.

The results are intended to determine which embryos have the genetic disorder, which ones carry it and which ones are free of it. We will typically only transfer an embryo that tests negative for the disorder.

Why is it important to biopsy blastocyst embryos?

When embryologists biopsy a blastocyst, they take a cell sample from the embryo at a more advanced stage. Doing so increases the accuracy of the testing, while minimizing the risk of damaging the embryo during the biopsy.

A blastocyst also has more cells than the embryo does at an earlier stage of development. That means the embryologist will only need to remove a few cells. Additionally, these cells will come from what will become the placenta rather than what will become the baby.

Who can benefit from adding PGT-M to their IVF cycle?

Any patient who has a family history of an inheritable genetic illness can benefit from preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic disorders. Patients should also consider PGT-M if preconception genetic testing reveals they carry an inheritable genetic condition.

Preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic disorders with our Las Vegas fertility doctors can help identify the following illnesses and many more.

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Huntington disease
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Breast or ovarian cancer (BRCA1 and 2)

PGT-M can help you have a healthy baby using IVF and end the cycle of genetic illnesses in your family. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our Las Vegas fertility doctors.