Genea genetic testing method significantly increases pregnancy rates

A new combination of genetic testing is delivering significantly improved pregnancy rates and fewer miscarriages for Genea patients with single gene defects.

For the past three years, scientists at Genea have been developing a different strategy for the treatment of couples carrying single gene mutations that they wish to avoid passing onto their children.

These couples often face a dilemma regarding their options for starting a family and the combination of IVF treatment with Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) conducted on their embryos has become a popular solution.

The Genea study assessed the treatment of patients undergoing more than 60 cycles of IVF and showed that using a combination of PGD to detect the specific gene mutation and a variation of the technique called Comparative Genomic Hybridization (CGH) to screen out embryos found to carry chromosome conditions led to a significant improvement in pregnancy rates.

The findings were presented today at the 5th Congress of the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE 2014) by Genea senior scientist Maria Traversa.

“Screening and selecting embryos for total chromosomes has revealed aneuploidy is a major contributor to an embryo’s chance of implanting successfully,” Ms Traversa said.

Genea Scientific Director Steven McArthur said the new testing approach was relevant for women of any age, regardless of their fertility status.

“So patients with an inherited risk from a single gene disorder could also benefit from screening which aids better selection of embryos and, as a result, delivers improved pregnancy outcomes,” Mr McArthur said.

Outcomes showed patients having combined testing with frozen cycle transfer exhibited improved implantation rates compared to patients having single gene testing alone and transfer within the stimulation cycle - 61 per cent vs. 46 per cent.

Genea is one of Australia’s leading providers for infertility, IVF and other assisted conception treatment with more than 28 years of experience in the field. The company has long been a fertility pioneer, with research and technologies developed in-house virtually doubling IVF success rates in the mid-nineties and continuing to improve outcomes today. Genea offers patients a 40 per cent greater chance of taking home a healthy baby compared to the average of all other Australian and New Zealand clinics combined*.

Genea was the first IVF clinic in the world to develop and routinely conduct blastocyst biopsy and develop a triple sequential, ready-to-use embryo culture media system. In addition, Genea was the first Australian clinic to:

  • introduce routine Day 5 embryo transfers;
  • introduce routine single embryo transfer; and
  • develop and routinely replace the old slow freezing method for embryos, eggs and sperm with a more efficient and successful vitrification process.

Genea has clinics at the following locations: Sydney City, Liverpool, Bella Vista, Manly, Canberra, Newcastle, Wollongong, Gosford, Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Orange, Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Maitland, Perth, Christchurch (NZ) and Bangkok.


* Data based on the Assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand 2011 publication and Genea's 2011 submission to ANZARD. Genea’s 40 per cent greater chance is calculated based on live birth rates per embryo transfer at Genea compared to the average of all other clinics in Australia and New Zealand.

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Meline Walton
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