What is Pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) and how can it help with conception?

If you have been looking for a way to test whether your embryos have any kind of problems with the chromosomes before they are implanted, then PGS could be the solution for you. Chromosome problems are thought to be a leading reason why IVF fails, so this could be the option that you have been waiting for.

What Is PGS?

PGS is a screening process that checks the embryos that have been created through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Any kind of abnormalities are looked for a located if they are there. It is often the case that if there is an issue with the chromosomes, then IVF is going to fail, the pregnancy will end in miscarriage, or the child will have a developmental disorder such as Downs Syndrome.

During this process, a single cell or a small handful are taken from the embryo and tested. Only those that do not have any abnormalities are placed in the womb.

What Causes Abnormal Chromosomes?

This is a very common thing to happen during the egg creation cycle, when sperm is being created and when embryos are forming. When the cells of the egg and/or sperm divide, this can lead to too many or too few chromosomes or with more or missing DNA.

Does It Work?

There have been some studies that have been conducted, which yielded results that show PGS can improve the IVF success rate for women who are under 37. These women also had never miscarried previously or had previously failed IVF cycles. It is important to realise that there is no concrete evidence to suggest that PGS will help you to conceive, but never say never.

Who Is It Recommended To?

It is more common for older women to have chromosome issues in their eggs, which means it is usually offered to women who are over the age of 37. However, your doctor might recommend that you have PGS if you have a history of chromosomal disorders in your family or if you have had multiple unexplained miscarriages. If you have had a few failed IVF treatment rounds, then this could also be a reason PGS would be recommended.

Risks Of PGS

The risks for PGS are the same that apply to IVF. However, with PGS, there is also the risk that if all the embryos are found to have abnormalities, then none will be transferred to the womb. Misdiagnosis is also a risk but the tests these days are very accurate, so this is fairly rare.

More Information

This treatment is not currently available on the NHS, and it can be an expensive process. As such, you should discuss this with your doctor in detail.


We hope that you know more about PGS now, and how it could help you with conception. Remember that there is no guarantee and results will vary from individual to individual, but it is an option that is available should you want to use it. Use Fertilico to search for fertility clinics specialising in PGS! 

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