Genetic Testing - Intelligence in fertility care for South Australians

Testing embryos before IVF

The Conversation released the article Testing embryos before IVF doesn’t increase the chance of a baby by authors:

Karin Hammarberg ; Senior Research Fellow, Global and Women’s Health, School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Monash University

Robert Norman ; Professor of Reproductive and Periconceptual Medicine, The Robinson Institute, University of Adelaide

Sarah Lensen ; Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne


It says, “In the past two decades there has been a significant rise in IVF clinics worldwide offering costly testing of embryos to make sure they have the right number of chromosomes. The theory is this will improve the chance of a baby by ensuring only chromosomally normal embryos are transferred.”

FertilitySA are very aware of the concerns raised by the articles authors and applaud that they have raised these publicly.

The article explains, “PGT-A is used to screen out embryos with the “wrong” number of chromosomes so that they are not transferred. PGT-A is distinct from tests used to help people reduce their risk of having a child with a known inherited disorder. These include testing for monogenic/single gene defects (PGT-M) and testing for structural chromosomal rearrangements (PGT-SR). Over the years, many studies have been conducted to evaluate the usefulness of PGT-A. This conclusion was made because most of the trials had limitations in the way they had been done, which made the evidence about the possible benefits of PGT-A inconclusive.”

FertilitySA has chosen to use the testing of embryos for chromosomal number (PGT-A) cautiously.

It is used as an adjunct to proven IVF treatment after careful discussion with a patient’s doctor.

We have used PGT-A primarily in treatment of those patients that have a history of miscarriage, implantation failure or as a option after several unsuccessful IVF cycles where good quality embryos have been transferred.

It is technology that is not routinely used for all cycles of IVF treatment

FertilitySA primarily use PGT technology for the diagnosis of single gene disorders such as cystic fibrous or chromosomal arrangement abnormalities.

With our partner Genea, Fertility SA use of PGT-M/SR, in conjunction with IVF treatment, has proven very successful in providing healthy babies to many families.


Commentary provided by:

Michael Barry

Scientific Director

Affiliate Lecturer, University of Adelaide


Full article on The Conversation:


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