When the RE told me that he recommended genetic testing on our embryos, and the chances of conception (at least at his clinic) raises to 80%, I did not question the decision to move forward with the testing. Why would I? Odds are important in this game, as I have never been one to win at slots.
But reality and emotion play a role in decisions…not just odds. And probably for good reason. An 80% chance of conception does not guarantee I’m slotted for a percentage within that window. I could spend the money necessary for the preimplantation genetic testing (PGS), wait an additional 8 weeks before completing the embryo transfer, make some difficult decisions on which embryo/s to transfer and then find out that my luck ran similar to my luck at the slots.
A team of doctors 20K richer, and me left paying a bill every 30 days with nothing to show for it.
I am not unrealistic, this could happen in a non-PGS IVF cycle – but for one difference. That money that was spent on genetic testing ($5,000) could pay for a frozen embryo cycle and a second chance of making our dreams come true.
That mean green is always a factor, but not always a deciding factor.
As I sat through the consultation with the RE and he continued to explain the genetic testing I began to feel a little uneasy about some of the things he was telling me. In all of my years dreaming of motherhood I’ve had this feeling that I was going to have a little girl. With genetic testing I could make that choice. I could decide if I wanted baby A or B, boy or girl.
The decision was mine…and that unnerved me.
Yes, the odds are better. But I’d rather take my chances (twice if I have to) for a baby that I am supposed to have and not that the doctors or I think I should have.
What is Preimplantation Genetic Screening/Diagnostics?
Simply put, it’s a procedure where one cell is removed from an oocyte (cells grown to day 5) that is sent to a lab and tested for ANY and ALL genetic complications that could occur. Additionally, information is gathered on where the problem occurred (which chromosome and whether it occurred on the maternal/paternal side), and the sex.
This is a valuable tool for many couples, especially if there are egg health questions or for individuals who are carriers of diseases or genetic conditions. It may also be a valuable tool for women who have had repeated miscarriages or many unsuccessful IVF/IUI cycles. Information gathered can help determine if selecting a healthy oocyte or if donor eggs are necessary (problems all arise on the maternal side) to allow a mother to carry a child to term.
I have read that there are some questions as to whether or not the removal of the single cell is detrimental to the growing oocyte, but could not find anything definitive on the subject.
If ever you find yourself in the situation where genetic assessment is recommended, do your research and follow your gut. I know I will.