If you’re considering having a child, one question may be at the top of your mind — Will I have a healthy baby? Thanks to the advanced technology known as genetic screening, Dr. Sharon Moayeri and Dr. Nidhee Sachdev here at OC Fertility can help answer this question both before and during the early stages of your pregnancy.
Our Newport Beach, California, clinic is dedicated to providing a comprehensive array of fertility services, from in vitro fertilization (IVF) to artificial insemination to male and female infertility treatment. Our knowledgeable team is here to explain how genetic screening can help determine pre-existing conditions and ensure a smooth and healthy pregnancy.
Genetic screening and fertility treatment
Genetic screening uses several forms of testing to determine if your child is potentially at risk for developing any diseases or health conditions. These tests dive down to the genetic level to look for genetic mutations, missing chromosomes, and other abnormalities.
During the fertility treatment process, there are three major points where we can run genetic screening: before fertility treatment, 5-7 days after egg fertilization, and during the first trimester of pregnancy. During each of these time windows, we offer specific types of genetic screening.
Genetic carrier testing
Most people carry the gene for at least one genetic disease, whether the disease actually manifests in them or not. The problem, in most cases, is when both parents carry the same mutation. The likelihood of their child developing this disease increases significantly.
Before you start any kind of fertility treatment with us, Dr. Moayeri and Dr. Sachdev recommend you and your partner go through Genetic Carrier Screening. During this process, we gather either a blood or saliva sample from you and your partner and send it to a lab to test for genetic mutations typically associated with diseases or health conditions.
Embryo genetic testing
If you opted to do IVF with us, we offer embryo genetic testing as well, which includes comprehensive chromosomal screening (CCS) and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS).
During these tests, we take a few cells from the embryo, typically 5-7 days after egg fertilization, to check if it has the right number of chromosomes (23 pairs) and look for signs of genetic disorders. This gives you the best chance of having a healthy child, as you’re given the tools to choose the most viable embryo prior to implantation.
We recommend CCS/PGT for women over the age of 35, as well as women with:
- A history of multiple miscarriages
- Irregularities in ovarian function
- A history of problems with fertility treatments
- Interest in embryo banking
Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT)
Once you become pregnant, Dr. Moayeri and Dr. Sachdev carefully monitor your condition during your entire first trimester. During this time, you can choose to go through NIPT, which allows us to test for any chromosomal abnormalities. Through NIPT, we can often determine the gender of your child as well, if you are interested in knowing.
What pre-existing conditions can genetic screening detect?
Genetic screening can identify a number of genetic disorders and health conditions. Some of the most common conditions we screen for include:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Sickle cell anemia
- Marfan syndrome
- Down syndrome
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- Tay-Sachs disease
- Fragile X syndrome
If our team does find indicators that you or your child may have a genetic disorder, we let you know right away. Dr. Moayeri and Dr. Sachdev are here to help answer your questions and offer alternative options to better ensure the health of your child, such as IVF.
With all the uncertainties that come with pregnancy, we hope to put your mind at ease with the help of genetic screening. If you’re interested in learning more about genetic screening or fertility treatments, give us a call at 949-706-2229 or book an appointment on our website today.