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The importance of genetic testing in egg donation treatments

Genetic Testing

At OvobankID, our primary goal is to give prospective parents the best possible chance of achieving a pregnancy that results in the birth of a healthy baby, free from disease and genetic abnormalities. In this article, we explain the importance of Genetic Testing in egg donation treatments.

As part of our ongoing mission to guarantee the quality of our donated eggs, since 2016, OvobankID has been performing the test for carriers of recessive mutations on all new donors. This allows us to exclude from our Egg Donation Programme candidates carrying autosomal recessive mutations. These include cystic fibrosis, Fragile-X, hemoglobinopathy, G6PDH, spinal muscular atrophy, and alpha and beta thalassaemia.

WHAT IS GENETIC TESTING?

Genetic testing is used to confirm or rule out suspected genetic diseases. We all carry variations in our DNA that could potentially affect our children’s health. However, unless both partners carry the same variation, there is no risk to offspring.

When both members of the couple carry the same DNA mutation, this means there is genetic incompatibility, and consequently, an increased risk of passing on a genetic disorder to future children. In some cases, the couple may decide to use donor eggs or embryos to achieve their dream of having a healthy baby.

It’s important to perform genetic studies so as to minimise risks in IVF treatments, because abnormal chromosomes can stop an embryo from implanting, or result in a miscarriage or the birth of a child with physical or mental disabilities.

WHEN IS GENETIC TESTING RECOMMENDED?

Genetic testing is recommended in the case of patients:

  • Who’ve experienced recurrent miscarriages
  • Who’ve previously undergone unsuccessful IVF cycles
  • Who have a family history of chromosomal disorders
  • Who are of an advanced maternal age (38 or over)
  • Who have abnormal sperm quality

Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT):

PGT is performed on embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF), allowing us to study their genetics. For patients undergoing IVF treatments, PGT can help identify the embryos with a normal chromosomal profile or those free from specific genetic disorders, ultimately increasing your chances of having a successful pregnancy.

It involves performing a biopsy to remove a small number of cells from an embryo at the blastocyst stage. After this biopsy, the embryos are vitrified pending the results and transferred in a subsequent cycle. In this way, affected embryos are identified during their development in the laboratory, and only the healthiest embryos are implanted into the woman’s uterus.

  • PGT-A

The most common is PGT-A, which is used to exclude chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo, such as those causing Down syndrome.

  • PGT-M

The second type is PGT-M, which is indicated for patients who suffer from or carry certain genetic diseases. The analysis is performed to determine whether the embryo will produce a carrier of this disease.

We can add any diagnostic study at the request of our collaborating centres. The number of mutations and diseases studied will depend on the genetic compatibility test performed.

GCT

GCT (Genetic Compatibility Test)

In addition, following our strict donor selection protocol, at OvobankID, we always recommend the GCT (Genetic Compatibility Test) to patients and collaborating centres.

For this test, a simple blood test is carried out on the egg donor and on the recipient woman’s partner. Then our specialised team carries out a genetic matching process by comparing the genetic information, in order to reduce the transmission of autosomal recessive genetic diseases.

If you have any questions or doubts about genetic testing in donor egg IVF treatments, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our coordinators, who will be more than happy to help you.

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