Fertility Blog

High pregnancy rates with minimum risk

Mary is aiming at starting her family. She and her husband have been working hard for two years to conceive. They did get pregnant, once, with a pregnancy ending in miscarriage. Fertility tests have not indicated a problem. She asked for our help at Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco.

For a woman like Mary things look normal, but they are not. On the surface, everything is in place for pregnancy, but conception does not happen. The most common reason for this is aneuploidy.

Aneuploidy is an abnormal number of chromosomes in an embryo. Normally 23 pairs of chromosomes, including the X and Y, are evenly duplicated between cells as the embryo forms. In aneuploidy, one or more chromosomes is missing or duplicated, with loss of balance in the DNA coding for the embryo.

Aneuploidy is extraordinary in how common it appears. Most embryos, after the first few days of development, are affected by aneuploidy, and only a few embryos are truly healthy and show normal numbers of chromosomes.

Aneuploid embryos usually do not grow, because the chromosomes are so jumbled. Those few that do grow often result in miscarriage. Fewer still, those that grow beyond the first trimester, result in clinical aneuploidy, for instance Down Syndrome.

Comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS) is a new way of identifying the healthiest embryos for transfer after in vitro fertilization (IVF). This exciting new technology enables the routine transfer of a single embryo with very low risk, with dramatic improvements in implantation and pregnancy rates.

clinical pregnancy rate was 74.5 percent per transfer with CCS screened embryos in women 40 and under. Three out of four times, in this patient group, an embryo produced a pregnancy.

In addition to improving IVF pregnancy rates, CCS helps:

  • Enable elective single embryo transfer (eSET) in all age groups, reducing the risk of multiple gestation (twins and triplets)
  • Reduce the risk of miscarriage
  • Reduce the risk of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome

Mary and her husband underwent IVF with CCS and are now pregnant with a son. The treatment produced 12 embryos, out of which two were healthy euploid embryos. One was transferred, resulting in her pregnancy, and the second is in cryo-storage, offering a good chance for a second child. In one cycle of IVF, Mary and her husband produced enough embryos to enable a great start on their family. One embryo transferred, with a pregnancy and one healthy baby.

At Pacific Fertility Center, we are very pleased to offer these new technologies, helping build families, one healthy baby at a time.

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