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FAQs

PGD FAQs

Does taking cells harm the embryo?
Removing one or more cells from an early embryo does not prevent the embryo from growing into a complete pregnancy. All of the cells in the early embryo are capable of complete development. In fact, identical twins develop from a single embryo that splits in half. It is clear from this example that you can take away half of the embryonic cells with no harm to either half.

Why should I use IVF if I have not been diagnosed with infertility?
In order to have more than one embryo to test, follicle-stimulating medications are needed to coax the ovaries to mature more than one egg at a time. We also need to have access to the embryos before implantation so that one or more cells may be removed and used for genetic testing.

What should I know about infertility drugs?
The medications necessary to mature multiple egg follicles must be monitored by measuring levels in the blood, as well as looking at the ovaries with ultrasound. Your doctor will work with you to maximize the number of follicles that form while using the lowest levels of medications necessary. IVF medications have been used for over 20 years. Studies investigating long-term effects of exposure to these medications have not identified risks for ovarian or other cancers at levels above background risk. Short-term side effects usually involve symptoms similar to those of pre-menstrual syndrome, although some women may also have ovarian swelling and discomfort.

If I am an out of town patient, then how long would I need to visit your office in Fairfax, VA?
We work with many patients from all areas of the United States and abroad. If IVF monitoring is available near a patient's home, then a patient needs to arrive in Fairfax, VA, a couple of days prior to the egg retrieval. On average, most women need to be at our facility for just over a week.

How likely am I to get pregnant if I use PGD?
Human reproduction is very inefficient, and the likelihood of getting pregnant naturally in any given month is only around 10%. With the transfer of three embryos on average, the pregnancy rate in our PGD program is 30-35%. Many other factors may make the likelihood of getting pregnant lower or higher. The decision regarding how many embryos to transfer is made together with the patient to maximize the likelihood of achieving pregnancy, but also to minimize pregnancies with multiple fetuses.

Have you experienced several miscarriages?
There are many possible causes for miscarriage. About 50% of first trimester miscarriages are due to a chromosome abnormality. This may be related to a woman's age or a rearrangement in a parent's chromosomes that predisposes the couple to conceive pregnancies with chromosome abnormalities. PGD can be performed for either of these possibilities. For women over 35, the greatest risk may be for aneuploidy, a pregnancy with the wrong number of chromosomes, such as Down syndrome. PGD for aneuploidy screening offer these women a greater chance of a successful and healthy pregnancy. If a parent has a balanced structural chromosome rearrangement, such as a translocation, a different type of PGD is available.

If I have infertility benefits/coverage under my insurance plan, does that include gender selection?
At this time gender selection is not billable to insurance companies. We can provide you with statements for your flex spending account and/or tax expense, but gender selection is a self pay service.

If I have a medically documented infertility issue can I include gender services when my insurance is billed?
The ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) portion of your care can be billed to insurance only if there is a medically documented infertility issue. All services for the Microsoft clinical trial and/or PGD for gender services will be self pay.

Can GIVF submit diagnostic testing to my insurance when I am seeking services for gender selection?

Without a medically documented infertility issue GIVF is unable to submit services to your insurance. However during the testing process if it is determined that you have infertility issue, GIVF will verify insurance benefits to determine possible coverage.