Genetic Testing for a Growing Family

Patient Adriana and her husband are parents to Alexandria (pictured), a little girl born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Those with SMA are missing a protein that helps activate the muscles in the body (such as lung function).  It is a terminal disease without treatment. Until their daughter was born, neither Adriana nor her husband knew they were both carriers of SMA. After deciding to continue to grow their family, they pursued genetic embryo screening with Fertility Centers of Illinois to increase their chances of having a genetically healthy child.

Why do you want to share your story?
To build awareness of the various medical options people can consider to help navigate genetic disorders for future children.

What led you to Fertility Centers of Illinois?
While many of my friends have gone to Fertility Centers of Illinois, I wasn’t 100% ready until my therapist recommended our physician. We were drawn to Dr. Ahmad because of her prioritization of being empathic to those who struggle.

What was your infertility diagnosis?
We didn’t have issues with fertility per se, but we were both carriers of SMA. We pursued IVF and genetic testing of our embryos to make sure our growing family would be healthy.

Which Fertility Centers of Illinois Physician(s) treated you?
We worked with Dr. Asima K. Ahmad.

What were your experiences with your physician(s)?
Awesome! She was thorough and great to work with.

What infertility treatment(s) did you undergo?
We did an IVF cycle with a frozen embryo transfer. The embryos underwent genetic testing to screen for SMA.

What helped you get through treatment physically and emotionally?
The Fertility Centers of Illinois office team was amazing. Patti, Diane and Sahar were a great support to me.

What did you wish you knew before you started infertility treatments?
I had no idea how involved and lengthy the process would be. It would have been helpful to know more about the genetic testing timing, how to expedite that step, as well as how long the process can actually take. I also didn’t know that there was the possibility of taking multiple progesterone shots for 10+ weeks after transfer.

Do you have any words of hope or inspiration for others?
All in all, the process was smooth; you can 100% get through it. Thankfully, we had a happy ending so that may have made the process easier to go through. The fact that we know that our baby is a carrier for SMA but is not affected by the disease and doesn’t have any other chromosomal issues (I am older, 38), helps to give some peace of mind that we are setting him and our family up for a bright future.

Please tell us about your little miracle.
Our baby boy is due in October.