Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has been associated with a higher incidence of congenital anomalies, including a specific increase in the rate of congenital heart defects (CHD). In this study, the rate of CHD in pregnancies resulting from ART at a single high-risk pregnancy referral center are compared to the published literature.
Pregnancies were screened by fetal echocardiography for the indication of ART over a 2-year period. CHD were classified as either mild or severe based on the need for postnatal surgical intervention. Results were compared to findings from a literature review of studies examining CHD in pregnancies resulting from ART since 1980.
The greatest increase in risk appears to be for mild CHD (non surgical), which may inform counseling of patients prior to use of assisted reproductive technologies.
ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) advances have now provided couples with accurate genetic screening tests like FISH analysis and DNA fragmentation test, as diagnostic tools for male infertility aiding them in improving theirs chances of pregnancy.
Infertility is not primarily a woman’s problem, as it is mistakenly believed. It is estimated that infertility for about half of couples is due to a male factor, either alone or in addition to female factors. So, if a couple suffers from infertility problems men should also be evaluated for infertility.
FISH analysis and DNA fragmentation tests are diagnostic tools for male infertility
However, the routinely used in IVF clinics semen analysis testing appears to be inadequate in diagnosing the male factor infertility. In many cases couples dealing with conception problems have given a basic semen analysis testing result that is normal in terms of sperm concentration, motility and morphology. Yet the problem remains. In such cases genetic screening tests that can detect genetic abnormalities can be of great help, comprising diagnostic tools of great clinical value.
DNA fragmentation test is a genetic test that according to fertility doctors is associated with every fertility checkpoint and in contrast to conventional semen analysis it can discriminate between the sperm of fertile and infertile men. This test could explain the reason why you are not parents yet as high levels of DNA fragmentation can inhibit a successful pregnancy despite the type of fertility treatment provided. High levels of damaged DNA have been correlated to a series of things like infections, smoking, and exposure to environmental toxic chemicals.
Another quite useful genetic test given in IVF clinics is FISH (Fluorescent In Situ Hybridisation). FISH analysis is a genetic test screening for genetic abnormalities providing information about the sperm chromosomes. It consists of sperm chromosome-specific DNA probes labeled with fluorochromes. FISH is an advanced technique that can now facilitate evaluation of sperm aneuploidy.
Both, FISH analysis and DNA fragmentation tests are diagnostic tools for male infertility that can support a specialized diagnose of male factor especially for couples who have experienced repeated IVF failures and pregnancy loss.
If male factor infertility is the source of your trouble would you advise your doctor on proper genetic testing for improving your pregnancy chances?
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