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Genetic Screening Test Helps Older Moms Decide on Embryos to Transfer

Denver Post,  Oct 25, 2010
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An increasingly popular genetic- screening test is offering new hope to older women trying to get pregnant through in-vitro fertilization.

The procedure, offered by three Colorado fertility clinics, examines cells from 5-day-old embryos to determine which are likeliest to become healthy full-term babies.

Fertility specialists say the new test, which evaluates a larger number of chromosomes than other practices, is significantly more promising for women in their late 30s.
And it might be safer for embryos, which have been more routinely tested at a fragile three days.

"It is as if we are turning back the biological clock for women ages 38 to 42," says William Schoolcraft, director and founder of the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine.

For such women as Rachel Johnston, the new test was a godsend. She struggled with fertility problems for years before traveling to Colorado last year specifically for the screening test offered at Schoolcraft's clinic. Two months ago, Johnston, 39, gave birth to twins Toby and Zoe.
"I was much more comfortable being able to confirm that the embryos truly were chromosomally normal," said Johnston, a New York City accountant.

The procedure will be among the subjects discussed this week at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference at the Colorado Convention Center.

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