Genetic Testing

– Genetic testing is used to rule out chromosomal defects in an embryo that can prevent it from implanting on the uterine lining or cause a miscarriage.

– It is done during IVF and ICSI treatment to reduce the risk of passing genetic diseases to the baby.

International Medical Treatment is an Official Information and Referral Office for Fertility Point Kenya, helping coordinate treatment for people in Kenya and across the region at no extra charge.

About Genetic Testing

Genetic screening and testing is a very important diagnostic technique that involves screening for diseases or abnormal chromosomal defects that can prevent pregnancy from progressing due to the embryo’s inability to attach itself to the uterine lining or a miscarriage.

Types of Genetic Testing

  • Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS)

    PGS is used to screen for any chromosomal abnormalities in the embryos. The embryos are obtained during the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) process, before implantation. Abnormal chromosome numbers or aneuploidy embryos are identified through a biopsy. It is important to identify if embryos have changes in chromosome numbers as it can lead to unsuccessful pregnancy, still births or giving birth to children with genetic conditions.

    The screening is performed on the 3rd day of the embryo development also known as the blastocyst stage which is when genetic material of the embryo is examined to detect any gene mutations allowing for only the healthy embryos to be transferred, therefore, increasing pregnancy rates and resulting in a healthy baby.

    When the woman is ready to get pregnant, the frozen eggs are liquified, fertilised with sperm in a laboratory then implanted into the uterus to achieve pregnancy.

  • Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

    PGD is an advanced single-gene diagnostic technique that allows screening of embryos for any specific hereditary diseases especially for people with a family history of a single-gene disorder to reduce the risk of embryos being affected by that condition. Some of the disorders that can be tested through PGD are Thalassemia, cystic fibroids, BRCA1/BRCA2 which can lead to hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancer.

    This test can be carried out either on the 3rd or 5th day of embryo development during the IVF program. After the testing, only the healthy embryos that do not contain any genetic conditions are transferred back to the uterus for implantation.

    Screening for hereditary diseases can be done through:

    Mutation Screening

    This is mostly recommended for people with a family history of genetic disease or when a genetic disease has been identified. When this is detected, a PGD is completed during IVF cycle to prevent passing on the genetic disease to the child.

    Exome Screening

    This on the other hand, is used to screen for unidentified hereditary disease or polygenic disease which usually involves interaction of two or more genes. Next generation sequencing analyses a significant number of genes at once unlike current sequencing techniques that analyse one gene or small groups of related genes at a time.

  • HLA Matching

    Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) is an advanced medical technology, more complex than blood typing. It is used to cure hereditary disease by matching a patient’s and donor’s HLA match after which a bone marrow transplant, also known as stem cell transplant, can be done.

International Medical Treatment is an Official Information and Referral Office for Fertility Point Kenya, helping coordinate treatment for people in Kenya and across the region at no extra charge.