The Genetics of Infertility
Having A Difficult Time Getting Pregnant?
You’re Not Alone
Infertility Affects 7% of Couples
Have you ever wondered about the genetics of infertility? As the trend of couples getting married and starting families at a later age increases, infertility has become a more common problem. Statistics show that 85 percent of couples that are trying to conceive a child will succeed within a year. Another 7 percent will be successful in the 2nd year.
IVF Helps Couples Achieve Successful Pregnancies
If you are one of the 7 percent of couples experiencing infertility and you have been trying for more than a year, you may choose to seek treatment by a fertility specialist.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) has allowed many couples to achieve parenthood through the use of specialized techniques to facilitate conception and a healthy pregnancy. If you are one of the many couples undergoing this treatment, you may be advised to consider genetic testing to ensure a healthy child.
Genetic Factors Are Responsible for 50% of Infertility Cases
Genetics can play a significant role in your ability to conceive a child and carry to birth and other aspects of fertility. It is estimated that 50 percent of infertility is linked to genetics.
Causes of Genetic Infertility in Males
In some cases, infertility in men can be caused by a specific gene that affects their ability to conceive a child. This gene can be passed on to their children. Some genetic conditions are carried by the X or Y chromosome. These mutations can cause Fragile X syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, Kallman syndrome, azoospermia (absence of sperm), microdeletions of the Y-chromosome, or other sex-linked conditions.
Causes of Genetic Infertility in Females
Female infertility can also have genetic causes. Some of the more common reasons for female infertility include trisomy X or monosmy X (Turner syndrome). These conditions cause one less or one more than the expected two (XX) chromosomes in females, and can lead to infertility. Premature ovarian failure, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and conditions such as Fragile X syndrome or Noonan syndrome may also be genetic causes related to female infertility.
To determine if the chromosomes in an embryo are normal, a small sample is taken and tested. The results of these tests can help prospective parents avoid transmitting serious diseases to their child.
Genetic Testing During Infertility Treatment
A number of different tests can be completed before implantation of embryos during infertility treatment. One type of test looks for abnormalities in the cells of the embryo. Another type of test counts the number of chromosomes, which can indicate chromosomal disorders, such as Down syndrome.
Women over the age of 35 and men over the age of 40 are at risk for more chromosomal abnormalities in their embryos. Testing can help to ensure that the embryos that are implanted are free of these abnormalities.
If a number of IVF cycles have failed, it could be because of the transfer of embryos with chromosomal abnormalities that cannot continue. Some of these embryos are mosaic, meaning that they show some normal cells and some abnormal cells. Though traditionally mosaic embryos were not transferred, this is becoming more commonplace.
Genetic testing can help to ensure the embryos are free of defects to increase the rate of successful implantation and normal growth. Genetic testing helps to reduce the likelihood of miscarriage and allows for single embryo transfer, which is preferred by many couples.
Advanced Tele-Genetic Counseling Provides Detailed Guidance and Information on Genetic Testing
Technology has allowed many more people to benefit from medical advances that can help them live healthier lives. At Advanced Tele-Genetic Counseling, we use telemedicine to consult with couples experiencing infertility to help find genetic reasons that can affect their ability to produce a healthy child.
Our certified genetic counselors are highly trained and will carefully explain genetic testing options and the results of your testing in a manner that is easy to understand.
We will advise you on options for treatment that will help you to make better decisions in your care. We will also share all information with your provider for the next best steps in your fertility journey.
Genetic Counseling for Infertility & More
Our highly trained genetic counselors will provide a comprehensive analysis your genetics and infertility. They can guide you in your genetic risk assessment. Genetic counselors also provide genetic testing results in simple language you can understand. This ensure you have the information you need to make informed decisions regarding your fertility journey. Schedule genetic counseling with AT-GC for information about genetic test that can assist you in your fertility treatment and help you achieve a successful outcome. Learn more about what to expect during genetic counseling here.
In addition to genetic counseling for fertility indications inherited conditions, AT-GC provides prenatal genetic counseling, and can answer questions related to carrier screening, oncofertility or non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).