One in six Australian couples will have a fertility issue at some point in their lives and one in 10 couples will have trouble conceiving their second child. You are not alone.
Don’t panic, your fertility journey doesn’t have to be an express service straight to IVF. Some simple changes can improve your chance of conceiving naturally.
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The World Health Organisation predicts that infertility will be the third most serious health condition in the 21st Century
We're dedicated to helping you achieve your dream - taking home a healthy baby. We offer a range of services - from IVF to genetic diagnosis of pre-implantation embryos - all with the aim of easing your journey to successful pregnancy.
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Our intention, driven by 25 years of planning, compassion and research investment, is to put our words into action for you so that you can feel assured that there is no better care and no better chance of a healthy baby to be found. Anywhere.
Because of the care, technology and expertise we put into your care, you’ll have a better chance of taking home a baby.
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We all want a healthy baby, one who grows into a healthy child. Unfortunately, in some cases it’s not always how things turn out. Certain genetic conditions can cause birth defects or start to show up as a child develops and certain factors, such as knowing you have a family history of a genetic disease or being of advanced maternal age, can increase the likelihood of your baby being affected.
Genea’s world leading Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) gives you a way of reducing or removing that risk.
In a standard IVF treatment, every time a cycle produces more than one embryo, a choice must be made about which embryo will be transferred. That choice is determined by the development and appearance of the embryos, usually over a five day period to work out which one has the best chance of achieving a pregnancy.
However, advances in scientific techniques mean PGD gives us another factor on which to base our decision - the genetic health of your embryo. PGD allows Genea scientists to base the choice on the results of genetic tests they’ve conducted on your embryos. These tests help us to rule out embryos that contain an obvious genetic abnormality. Testing can involve either a count of the chromosomes and/or a molecular examination for a particular gene or mutation.
PGD can increase the chances of a genetically normal embryo being selected, implanting successfully and your chance of carrying and delivering a healthy baby.
If you’re considering IVF, PGD could be an important part of the equation towards you achieving your dream. Learn more about the process of PGD and what is involved.
PGD is recommended for you if you:
If you know you carry a serious genetic condition, genetic testing of your embryos before implantation is an effective and logical way to avoid passing that condition onto your future children.
For example, when two cystic fibrosis carriers conceive a child, there is a 25 per cent chance that the baby will have cystic fibrosis, a 50 per cent chance that the baby will be a carrier and a 25 per cent chance that the baby will be unaffected. IVF with PGD allows the couple to produce a number of embryos, but to transfer only those that are either unaffected by the condition or carriers.
Genea has developed the largest range of tests in Australia - for more than 200 inherited diseases.
It’s an unfortunate fact of reproductive science that the frequency of chromosomal abnormalities - that’s when your embryo is missing a chromosome or carrying an extra one - increases with maternal age. These chromosomal abnormalities can cause your embryo to fail to implant or miscarry or they might result in a baby born with developmental problems or a serious genetic condition such as Down syndrome.
A form of PGD called Comparative Genome Hybridisation (CGH) lets us screen your embryos to find one that is genetically healthy. The good news is that our PGD results show that following the transfer of a healthy embryo, pregnancy rates among older women do not differ greatly to those achieved by women in younger age groups. CGH can provide you with the best chance of a healthy baby, particularly when time really matters.
Random chromosome problems are thought to be the cause of the majority of miscarriages – what happens is that a genetically abnormal embryo implants in the uterus, but is destined to fail. Unfortunately miscarriages are not uncommon with approximately one in five pregnancies ending in a miscarriage. However, due to advanced maternal age or a number of other possible factors, some women are more prone to miscarriage. If you’ve experienced multiple miscarriages, considering PGD as part of your treatment may be the best way to achieve your goal.
Comparative Genome Hybridization (CGH) is used by our scientists to screen your embryo to ensure it has the correct number and sequence of chromosomes in the DNA and to avoid the genetic faults that could be causing it to miscarry. We then only go on to transfer genetically healthy embryos which gives you the best chance of successful implantation and pregnancy.
Perhaps the problem you’re facing is that your IVF cycles are not working because your embryo fails to implant after the transfer. If this has happened a couple of times, your Fertility Specialist may recommend PGD.
Once again to overcome this problem, Genea scientists will use Comparative Genome Hybridization (CGH) to screen your embryos for chromosome abnormalities before implantation. Only embryos that have the correct number and sequence of chromosomes will be selected for transfer to give you the best chance of successful implantation and an ongoing pregnancy.
Using PGD to select the sex of your embryo is only allowed in Australia if the testing is being used to avoid passing on a specific sex-linked genetic disorder to a child.
The National Health and Medical Research Council’s Assisted Reproductive Technology Guidelines restrict the use of PGD for sex selection in Australia. (see sections 11 and 12 of the ART Guidelines).
For more information on this please contact us.
Genea led the way in investigating and developing PGD in Australia and our expertise and techniques are amongst the best in the world. Genea first launched chromosome testing of embryos in 1995 and expanded that treatment to offering single gene testing in 1998. Our techniques have developed and expanded since we first conducted genetic testing and many clinics have followed our lead and modelled their tests on ours.
Genea was the first clinic ever to successfully introduce Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) successfully for Day 5 embryos in 1999, achieving the first baby ever born using this technique. A review of information from the Australian and New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database (ANZARD) from 2004 to 2008 showed blastocyst biopsy for PGD improves both implantation and live birth rates when compared to biopsy at Day 3. The review showed clinical pregnancy rates from Day 5/6 biopsies were 29 per cent compared to 17 per cent for Day 3 biopsies and 23 per cent of couples undertaking Day 5 biopsy on their embryo delivered a baby compared to 13 per cent of couples whose embryo was biopsied at Day 3.
More than 2,000 single gene disorders have been identified and we are capable of building a test for any one of them. To date, we’ve been asked to test for approximately 200 disorders, more than any other clinic, and we’ve developed specific tests for each one, including some very rare disorders.
In 2012, another Australian IVF clinic stated that the holy grail for IVF technology would be the ability to test every one of the 23 chromosome pairs in the embryo before implantation. At Genea we have been doing just that since November 2009.
A couple of Australian clinics have recently begun promoting their “new” PGD technique - microarray Comparative Genome Hybridization (CGH) or microarray CGH. Genea was one of the first clinics in the world to adopt this technique and we’ve offered it to our patients for more than two years, since 2009. While standard chromosome tests can only detect some of these conditions, this more powerful high-resolution test can identify very small changes in chromosomes that standard tests are not able to detect.
Genea is one of the very few centres in Australia with the vital combination of IVF and genetics facilities to perform these sophisticated tests successfully. Quite simply, if you want to ensure that you benefit from the very latest assisted conception research and technology you could do no better than to come to Genea.
Please do not hesitate to contact one of Genea's PGD scientists should you have any questions.
Telephone: +61 2 9229 6420.
Chromosome abnormalities can include having the wrong number of chromosomes, or having chromosomes that are not completely intact. The most common chromosome abnormality is called aneuploidy which is having either too few chromosomes (e.g. Turner syndrome) or too many chromosomes (e.g. Down syndrome).
Other chromosome abnormalities or imbalances can involve genetic material either added to a chromosome (a duplication) or missing from a chromosome (a deletion). If these imbalances are very small, then they are called microduplications or microdeletions.
Chromosome abnormalities increase the risk of physical and intellectual disabilities. Children with chromosome abnormalities may have altered facial and physical features, be slow to reach developmental milestones, or have learning difficulties or mental retardation.
PGD testing involves carefully removing a small number of cells from an embryo for analysis. From this tiny sample, Genea is able to test whether an embryo has Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, Huntington's disease or any of a wide range of other genetic problems. Each of these conditions needs to be tested for separately and we will discuss with you what conditions need to be considered.
Most commonly, PGD is used where a couple is aware of the possibility that their offspring will inherit a genetic disease. Even though they may not have a problem with infertility, the couple undergoes a stimulated IVF cycle with the aim of producing a number of embryos. Genetic material from these embryos is tested to see which, if any, of the embryos carries the genetic disease, and only embryos that do not show the disease are transferred to the woman’s uterus.
As we mentioned above, Genea’s approach to PGD - biopsy at blastocyst stage improves both implantation and live birth rates when compared to the biopsy at Day 3 method used by many other Australian clinics.
A review of information from the Australian and New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database (ANZARD) from 2004 to 2008 showed 23 per cent of couples undertaking Day 5 biopsy on their embryo delivered a baby compared to 13 per cent of couples whose embryo was biopsied at Day 3.
PGD uses three major types of tests or analysis:
• Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR);
• Comparative Genome Hybridisation (CGH); and
• Combination Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR/CGH).
If you have or carry a diagnosed genetic problem or have suffered three or more miscarriages in a row, you can call us to discuss whether PGD is the right path for you. Genea is one of the very few centres in Australia with the vital combination of IVF and genetics facilities to perform these sophisticated tests successfully and help you achieve your ultimate dream - taking home a healthy baby.
All Genea's Fertility Specialists have undertaken specialist study and training to understand the different factors which might be impacting your fertility. They'll take the time to diagnose your condition, provide you with a range of options and work with you to devise the best treatment plan - just for you.
The gain or loss of one or more chromosomes at meiosis, including trisomy (47 chromosomes) and...
An embryo whose cells have divided into two different types - usually occurs at Day 5 or...
A long spiral string of genetic material (DNA) wound around supporting proteins. There are 46...
(CGH) A molecular DNA diagnostic technique whereby a set of chromosomes (a genome) is compared...
DNA is an abbreviation of deoxyribonucleic acid, a molecule made of a variable sequence of...
A method of increasing in number of copies of a single piece of DNA to get...
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