Genetic Testing

Boston IVF at The Women’s Hospital is pleased to be one of the very few fertility centers in the country to now offer the latest in cutting-edge genetic testing for our patients.

Our new Day 5 Array CGH (Comparative Genomic Hybridization) testing reveals whether an embryo has the correct number of chromosomes. Too many or too few chromosomes will result in either a non-viable embryo, a miscarriage or — if implanted and carried to term — an infant with a birth defect.

Such chromosomal abnormalities are also thought to be major causes of IVF failure.

What is Genetic Testing?

CGH is a screening technique that has been shown in some studies to increase IVF success rates significantly, particularly for women in their late 30’s and early 40’s, in couples with a history of failed fertility treatment and in patients with recurrent pregnancy loss. It can also be used in younger women to improve the selection of an embryo and may enhance the success of elective single embryo in IVF and therefore guard against the risk of multiple births.

Boston IVF at The Women’s Hospital has the capability to perform a blastocyst biopsy on Day 3 and/or Day 5 after fertilization and array CGH testing is completed. In addition to aneuploidy many inherited diseases can be screened for known carriers from this type of testing.

Array CGH has two main advantages over other methods of screening. The first focuses on new, cutting-edge technology that tests DNA very quickly, so that embryos do not need to be frozen while they are checked. The second is that with a Day 5 biopsy, the diagnostic accuracy is enhanced by the fact that many cells from the trophectoderm of the blastocyst are analyzed. Moreover, because the biopsy is of the trophectoderm cells, it is thought that Day 5 biopsies may have less of a detrimental impact on embryo implantation rates.

The result is that our specialists can ensure that only high-quality embryos are available for uterine transfer.