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Medical experts stress the need for genetic testing for couples to reduce the risk of passing genetic diseases to children

December 16, 2018
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Medical experts stress the need for genetic testing for couples to reduce the risk of passing genetic diseases to children

Fertility medicine has seen massive advancements since its introduction. Not only are women with infertility conditions seeking interventions, several male infertility factors are also equally common today. Modern science especially Assisted Reproductive Techniques has offered valuable solutions to these problems to the point that parents with a history of geneticdisorders, now have a chance to eliminatethe risk of genetically transmitted diseases from their future generations entirely.

“IVF has not only been a boon for those unable to conceive but also those who are at a risk of passing on genetic disorders to their off springs. For couples who are going through either of the two, we recommend the Pre-implantation Genetic Testing (PGT) that helpsscreen embryos, and eliminates the risk of genetically transferred diseases,” said Prof. Dr. Human Fatemi, Subspecialist Reproductive Medicine & Reproductive Surgery and the Medical Director, IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic.

It has been observed that more than 61 percent of miscarriages occur when the embryo has an abnormal number of chromosomes. However, genetic testing can help eliminate risks and mitigate the odds of an unsuccessful transfer. Genetic testing helps identify the healthiest embryo thus not only increasing the chances of conception but also ensuring that we are working towards a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

According to Dr. Laura Melado, IVF Specialist, IVI Abu Dhabi, November – also known as Movember focuses on men’s health awareness and male fertility and is an ideal month to raise awareness on genetic disorders too. Stressing the importance of using PGT to identify serious inherited disorders, she is of the opinion that while PGT is used extensively by patients undergoing In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment, it is rarely explored by patients outside of infertility treatment due to lack of awareness. It is this awareness that needs to be spread.

“IVF isn’t just available for couples who need help conceiving. IVF with PGT is an option for anyone who’s planning a family and wants to reduce the risk of passing on a mutation they’re carrying to their children,” added Dr Laura.

Pre-implantation Genetic Testing is performed as apart of the In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process at IVI clinics to determine if an inherited mutation has been passed on to an embryo. The procedure involves removing a few cells from a five or six-day old embryo, known as a blastocyst, and screening for the mutation. Once the results are obtained, the family can choose to move along in the process and try for a pregnancy with the healthy, mutation-free embryos, or store them for future use.

“PGT is a great option for any couple carrying a gene mutation who want to have a baby today or in the future. It not only transfers an unaffected, mutation-free embryo into the uterus, but also provides couples the peace of mind of having a healthy baby,” said Dr. Laura Melado.

At IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic, doctors understand that IVF and other treatment processes can appear complicated to most couples. Hence, thedoctors and experts provide guidance and support to patients’ concerns and queries. This includes educating them on different scenarios and available options so they feel empowered to take the best decisions for themselves.With an excellent team of over 1,000 medical professionals worldwide, IVI delivers a success rate of over 70 percent, the highest in the Middle East. IVI Fertility has three clinics in the Middle East – Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat that strive to offer patients fertility treatments that are honest, transparent and customized to their medical conditions coupled with the best clinical practices.

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