In vitro fertilization specialists and their patients are turning to preimplantation genetic screening to select the healthiest of embryos to implant, the New York Times' Andrew Pollack reports. This way, he says, clinics give their patients the best chance of becoming pregnant.
"What's really good about this is we get high rates with singletons," Richard Scott, the clinical and scientific director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, says.
Pollack notes that companies like Illumina are moving into the space; Illumina acquired cytogenetic testing firm BlueGnome in 2012.
However, Pollack reports that critics say that the process adds thousands of dollars to the already high IVF price tag without clear data that it increases pregnancy rates. In fact, some say it may lessen those odds.
"A significant portion of women may actually be hurting themselves by doing that," Norbert Gleicher, medical director of the Center for Human Reproduction in Manhattan, tells the Times.
An older form of PGS was found in 2007 to decrease the chances of becoming pregnant, possibly because testing damaged the embryo or because it wasn't a comprehensive enough test and missed abnormalities. The new technique, Pollack says, examines cells from a five-day-old embryo, rather than a three-day-old one, and can look at all chromosomes.