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Podcast: Preimplantation Genetic Testing 101

Preimplantation genetic testing, also known as PGT, evaluates the genetic health of an embryo prior to a transfer to the uterus, where it can implant and grow during a pregnancy. PGT is an option that some patients may want to take, particularly if they’d like to prevent any known genetic disease from continuing down the family line or if they have experienced repeated pregnancy losses due to egg quality.

The technology and science behind genetic testing for embryos has grown in leaps and bounds over the years, with specialists now able to be incredibly precise when performing a detailed chromosome analysis. A better understanding of the genetic health of embryos allows your care team to select the healthiest possible embryo to increase your chances of success.

Join Dr. Juan Alvarez as he discusses everything you should know about preimplantation genetic testing. We’ll cover the basic info and terms you should know, the different types of PGT, the diagnoses that PGT can help with, the process from beginning to end, and helpful info that can guide you during treatment.

The Time to Talk Fertility: Preimplantation Genetic Testing 101 episode discusses questions such as:

  • Before we jump into preimplantation genetic testing, can you give us some of the basic info that we should know? Such as...
    • How many chromosomes do we have?
    • What is aneuploidy?
    • What causes chromosomal abnormalities?
    • How common is a chromosomal abnormality?
    • What are the most common abnormalities?
  • Can you give us a simple definition of preimplantation genetic testing?
  • How many different types of PGT are there?
  • Can you describe each?
  • What types of infertility diagnoses warrant PGT?
  • How does a patient know if they are a genetic carrier for any disorders?
  • What types of chromosomal abnormalities are screened for with PGT?
  • How do you decide which type of PGT to recommend?
  • What does the latest medical research say about PGT?
  • Do some patients do PGT without any diagnosed medical need? If so, why?
  • Does PGT create “designer babies”?
  • At what point in treatment does PGT occur?
  • What is the process of PGT?
  • Can an embryo be harmed in any way during testing?
  • Is the PGT done at an IVF laboratory or elsewhere?
  • How long does the testing process take?
  • How does adding PGT to an IVF cycle alter the timeline?
  • Can you give us a list of the benefits of PGT?
  • What are some downsides to pursuing this treatment?
  • Is this covered by insurance?
  • What are the costs involved?
  • Can you share some anecdotal examples of patients who have used PGT and been successful?
  • Can you share some words of hope with our listeners?

The Time to Talk Fertility Podcast releases new episodes monthly and is available on Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Tune In, Google Play and Spotify.

Additional Resources:

Dr. Juan Alvarez Bio

Genetic Testing for Embryos

Ask the Doctor: 10 Questions About Genetic Testing

Patient Story: Genetic Testing for a Growing Family