Leading IVF specialist Dr Hrishikesh Pai explores the Role of Genetics in IVF for a successful pregnancy

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In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a medical procedure in which eggs are fertilized by sperm outside the body in a laboratory setting. While genetics play a role in fertility and the success of IVF, there are many other factors that can affect the outcome of the procedure.

One way that genetics can influence IVF is through the quality and quantity of a person’s eggs and sperm. The genetic makeup of an egg or sperm can impact its ability to fertilize and form a healthy embryo. Certain genetic abnormalities or defects in the eggs or sperm can also increase the risk of miscarriages or congenital disabilities.

Leading IVF specialist Dr Hrishikesh Pai, Founder and Director of Bloom IVF, states, ‘It is important to note that genetic complications are rare. But to be safe, I advise and discuss any potential risks and complications with my patients before starting any fertility treatment.’

Major complications that can occur during in vitro fertilization (IVF) include chromosomal abnormalities and genetic disorders. Chromosomal abnormalities are problems with the number or structure of the chromosomes in an egg, sperm, or embryo. These abnormalities can cause fertility problems or increase the risk of miscarriages or birth defects. In addition, genetic disorders such as sickle cell disease or cystic fibrosis can affect fertility and the success of IVF. These disorders can also be passed on to the child if the affected egg or sperm is used in the IVF process. 

Another way that genetics can affect IVF is through inherited conditions or traits that may impact fertility. For example, certain genetic disorders or mutations may cause fertility problems or affect the ability to carry a pregnancy to term.

Hence, it is necessary to perform genetic testing during the IVF cycle. Genetic testing can help identify any genetic abnormalities or disorders in the eggs, sperm, or embryos. This information can help doctors and patients make informed decisions about treatment options.

Dr Hrishikesh Pai explains the pre-genetic test and its procedure. Pre-genetic testing, also known as preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), is a medical procedure that involves testing the genetic makeup of embryos before they are implanted into the uterus during in vitro fertilization (IVF). PGT is typically used to identify any genetic abnormalities or disorders in the embryos that may affect their ability to develop into healthy pregnancies.  

Hence, IVF specialists can recommend Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) or Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) or Comprehensive chromosomal screening (CCS) for improving the success rate of the IVF cycle.

Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) involves testing a small number of cells from an embryo to identify any chromosomal abnormalities or other genetic disorders. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) involves testing an embryo for specific genetic conditions or traits, such as inherited genetic disorders or the risk of certain diseases. 

Comprehensive chromosomal screening (CCS) is a method that tests all the chromosomes in an embryo to identify any abnormalities or disorders.

These test help doctors and patients make informed decisions about their treatment options and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. However, it is important to note that PGT is only sometimes necessary and may only be recommended in some cases. Therefore, discussing the potential risks and benefits of PGT with the treating IVF specialist is always important before starting any fertility treatment.

About Dr Hrishikesh Pai

Dr Hrishikesh Pai has earned a reputation as one of India’s most prominent gynaecologists. Presently, Dr. Pai is the Director of the Bloom IVF Group, which operates eight IVF centers in various parts of India, including Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai and Fortis Hospitals in New Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Mohali, and Navi Mumbai. Moreover, to ensure that those who cannot afford advanced services also have access to them, he has established an IVF unit in the D Y Patil Medical College. 

Dr. Pai is credited with various innovations in the field of in-vitro fertilization, such as assisted laser hatching, spindle view, ovarian tissue freezing for cancer patients, oocyte freezing, IMSI and embryoscope. 

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field, the international agency Frost & Sullivan presented him with the Best IVF Group in India Award in 2013. Moreover, his peers selected him to fill the position of President of the Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction (ISAR) in 2015. In addition, in recognition of his work, Dr Pai was chosen by the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS) to become a Member of their Board of Directors, a first in India.

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