What is the Genetic Compatibility Test?
The Genetic Compatibility Test is an innovative technique that can help us prevent the transmission of hundreds of genetic diseases by performing a blood test on the parents to study their genetic compatibility.
We may all be carriers of some recessive genetic disorder, but being a carrier is not important as the disorders don’t manifest in the majority of cases. The problem arises when both parents are carriers of the same recessive genetic condition. In these cases, the disorder can be passed on to offspring.
What is the process of the Genetic Compatibility Test like?
A simple blood test is done and the genetic material from these cells is analysed. This genetic test identifies hundreds of illnesses by testing for thousands of mutations in the patient and her partner (or in the egg or sperm donor if applicable). Once studied, the genetic information from both individuals is cross-referenced and we determine whether or not they could pass on any of the illnesses analysed to their children. By doing this, we can be sure that they are genetically compatible in order to prevent the transmission of genetic illnesses to offspring.
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Frequently asked questions about the Genetic Compatibility Test
- Prior to assisted reproduction treatment. It allows us to determine compatibility between both parents and to rule out carrier status for the same genetic abnormalities, thus preventing the transmission of a recessive hereditary condition to offspring.
- Donor selection for the recipient. We always confirm genetic compatibility between gametes when both are donated. In the event that only one of the gametes has been donated, the parent who is providing his or her own gametes must undergo this same test in order to confirm genetic compatibility with the donor.
- Blood relatives. Highly recommended for couples related by blood as they are very likely to both be carriers of the same genetic abnormalities.
The Genetic Compatibility Test makes it possible to screen for over 300 hereditary conditions including: Cystic Fibrosis, Fragile X Syndrome, Sickle-Cell Anaemia, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Tay-Sachs, Thalassemia, Canavan Disease, Bloom Syndrome and Wilson Disease.
Genetic factors, such as the presence of aneuploidies in embryos, for example, are one of the most important causes of implantation failure and recurrent miscarriage.
In these cases, the Pre-Implantation Genetic Test (PGT-A) makes it possible to select embryos for transfer which do not present aneuploidies. In other words, the embryos to be used for treatment will be those which have 23 complete pairs of chromosomes, as these are the embryos which will have the capacity to implant in the endometrium and result in a live, healthy new-born.
In these cases we will carry out In Vitro Fertilisation. Once the embryos have been created they will be screened for the disease in question - the one for which both parents hold carrier status. As a result, we are able to use only the embryos which are unaffected by the disease for the patient’s treatment. This technique has made it possible for thousands of families to have children who are unaffected by these conditions.