Genetic Testing of Embryos

Waterstone Clinic was the first Irish clinic to offer a successful embryo biopsy service in Ireland.


Pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) of embryos is a highly specialised laboratory technique. Pre-implantation genetic testing was first introduced Waterstone Clinic in 2012, and our clinic was the first in Ireland to have a successful pregnancy and live birth following transfer of an embryo that had been biopsied and genetically tested.  

PGT-M and PGT-A: What’s the Difference?

PGT-M Pre-implantation genetic testing is a laboratory technique following IVF/ICSI treatment that enables parents to reduce the risk of passing a known condition to their children. The embryos are biopsied, and the genes of the embryos are genetically tested for the particular condition.

PGT-A Pre-implantation genetic testing is a laboratory technique following IVF/ICSI treatment that involves the biopsy of embryos to assess whether or not they carry the correct number of chromosomes. Only embryos with the correct number of chromosomes (euploid embryos) will be selected for transfer into the patient’s uterus. The risk of aneuploidy increases with increasing maternal age. This is more commonly recommended for patients who have had recurrent implantation failure, recurrent miscarriage, or are of advanced female age. 

Embryo Biopsy & Embryo Transfer

An embryo biopsy involves making a small opening in the zona (shell) that surrounds the embryo. A few cells are removed from the embryo and they are sent to a specialised genetics laboratory in the UK. The embryos are immediately cryopreserved and stored at Waterstone Clinic while the cells are tested and processed. The results are reported to Waterstone Clinic, and then arrangements can be made for embryo transfer if the embryos are suitable.  

What are my chances of success?

Approximately 1 in 3 couples who reach the stage of embryo transfer will have a live birth.

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