PGT and IVF: the preparatory stage
You have indicated that you wish to be eligible for pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT). This information leaflet explains the necessary preparations prior to starting a PGT procedure.
Who is eligible for PGT?
PGT is intended for couples who have a significantly higher risk of having a child with a severe genetic disorder or a high risk of a miscarriage due to a chromosome abnormality. Couples who wish to be eligible for PGT must meet both the PGT and IVF criteria. IVF stands for ‘In Vitro Fertilisation’ (test tube conception).
Do you meet the PGT criteria?
- The Maastricht UMC+ PGT centre assesses the genetic aspects of the disorder for which you are considering PGT.
- Since its introduction in 1995, the PGT technique is used for multiple disorders. If a PGT is requested for a disorder for which a PGT test has not yet been asked, the national PGT indications committee must approve the indication.
- The Clinical Genetics Laboratory of Maastricht UMC+ will assess whether such a new test is technically feasible.
Do you meet the IVF criteria?
- A woman must be physically capable of supporting IVF treatment and a pregnancy. This is particularly important if she is the person who has the genetic disorder.
- If the woman is of an older age, an assessment will be performed to determine whether a PGT procedure would still be appropriate.
- Due to the high risk of complications in IVF treatment and pregnancy, the woman’s BMI may not exceed 35.
- Both the woman and the man must be suitable for IVF. This is assessed based, among other things, on a hormone test for the woman and a semen analysis for the man.
If you meet the PGT and IVF criteria, in principle, a preparatory genetic test will follow and a further test will be performed to determine whether you are capable of actually undergoing IVF treatment.
The procedure for the female involves an internal examination and an ultrasound scan of the ovaries.
The procedure for the male involves a semen analysis. To ensure that this is successful, the male must refrain from ejaculation three to seven days before the semen analysis.
Blood tests are performed on the female and male to determine whether certain infectious diseases are present.
After the tests have been completed within a few weeks, the gynaecologist will discuss the results with you.
Are you capable of undergoing IVF treatment?
The gynaecologist will assess whether you are capable of undergoing IVF treatment based on tests. He/she will assess whether the ovarian function is capable of ripening sufficient follicles. The amount and quality of the follicles decrease with age. This is particularly important if the woman is aged over 36.
After the preparatory genetic test has been completed and if no obstruction factors emerge from the IVF test, the PGT procedure can be scheduled.
Preparatory genetic test
During the preparatory genetic test, blood samples will be taken from both partners and often from family members as well to further analyse the genetic disorder. This blood test is required even if your blood has been previously tested for the disorder. Blood samples will be tested solely for the genetic disorder, which forms the underlying reason for the PGT procedure. You may have blood samples taken at a hospital in your own region.
If you are seeking a PGT for a disorder for which a PGT test has already been developed, the preparatory genetic test will take a few months. If a new PGT test needs to be developed, the preparatory genetic test will take more time.
Nearly all health insurers reimburse the costs of a PGT procedure under the basic health insurance policy. However, policy excess applies. It is important to note that a patient is always individually responsible for the payment of a PGT procedure. It would therefore be advisable to check in advance whether your health insurer reimburses PGT procedures under the basic health insurance policy.
You can find an overview of the total costs of a procedure on our website.