Family Balancing Using IVF-NGS

What is Family Balancing?

Family Balancing is the term used for gender selection. It is a process which is performed to achieve more balanced representation of both genders in a family. For example, if a couple has a daughter and desires a son or vice versa, family balancing can help in selecting the desired gender. By utilizing technology called Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) that involves testing the chromosomal make-up of an embryo, only the embryo(s) of the desired gender are returned to the patient’s uterus, ensuring great accuracy.

Family Balancing using IVF-NGS

With today’s advanced reproductive technologies, identifying the gender of your embryos before pregnancy is possible through IVF and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), sometimes referred to as Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGD. The combined method of NGS and IVF is the most accurate method available today, with accuracy nearing 100%, making Family Balancing safe and effective for the couple.

What is Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening?

Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS) using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), also known as “Embryo Screening”, is a test performed on a few cells obtained from the embryo and provides the following benefits:

  • Screen all 24 chromosomes for any chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome and Edward’s syndrome
  • Identify the gender of embryos
  • Embryos without chromosomal abnormalities are at reduced risk for miscarriage

What are the steps and duration of Family Balancing?

Family Balancing IVF NGS

Completing CCS with an IVF-ICSI cycle does not change the duration of treatment. Following Egg Retrieval, if the eggs are fertilized successfully, a biopsy is taken from each embryo and tested through CCS. The healthy embryos of the desired gender are then transferred to the uterus.
The following steps take place over 15 to 20 days.

  1. Ovarian Stimulation (Day 1/2 thru day 12/13):
  2. On Day 1/2 of the Menstrual cycle, medication is prescribed to stimulate the growth of multiple follicles in the ovaries. During this time, follicular growth is monitored through ultrasound as they develop into eggs. Medication protocols are changed as needed. 36 – 40 hours before the scheduled Egg Retrieval, an hCG “trigger” shot is given to induce maturation of the eggs within a scheduled timeframe.

  3. Egg Retrieval (OPU):
  4. Eggs are retrieved using a thin ultrasound-guided needle during a short procedure under sedation. The number of eggs retrieved depends on the body’s response to the medication.

  5. Sperm Collection and ICSI:
  6. On the day of Egg Retrieval, a semen sample is taken to fertilize the retrieved eggs. To increase chances of fertilization, a single sperm is injected into each egg using a precision needle in a method called ICSI.

  7. Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS) using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) :
  8. Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS) will be completed for family balancing or to screen for any chromosomal abnormalities. 3 to 5 days after the Egg Retrieval, a biopsy is taken from each embryo and tested in the Genetics Lab. The health and gender of the embryos is identified and discussed with you before Embryo Transfer.

  9. Embryo Transfer (ET):
  10. Embryo Transfer is a minor procedure that does not require sedation and is done usually under ultrasound control. Following the procedure, hormone levels are tracked through blood test to confirm pregnancy after 10-12 days.

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