Finding out about the genetic makeup of an embryo may be helpful in trying to identify embryos which are more likely to lead to a healthy pregnancy. We are very proud that much of the early work in PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) was originally pioneered at Hammersmith Hospital.

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)

This is a very specific technique which can be used where a serious genetic disease which could be passed to offspring is to be avoided.

By creating embryos in a similar way to ICSI treatment, a single cell or group of cells can be removed from an embryo and the genetic material contained in the cells chromosomes can be analysed to see if it carries that disease or not. Very careful preparation is required before undertaking this form of treatment and may require blood sampling from family members. Our specialist team will guide you through the steps required.

Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS)

In the past pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) allowed us to examine a limited number of chromosomes (which carry genetic information) for abnormalities. Newer techniques allow us to examine all of the chromosomes and to see if an embryo lacks or has additional chromosomes, a condition called aneuploidy. This technique may be helpful in those patients that have had multiple IVF failures or for older women who produce more genetically abnormal eggs. More recent research suggests that younger women may also produce large numbers of abnormal eggs during IVF treatment and may also benefit from this procedure by achieving higher than average success rates and limiting multiple pregnancies.