Starting Our Family

The reality of infertility, IVF and donor eggs

Comprehensive Chromosome Screening

on May 22, 2013

Originally posted Aug 15, 2012 –

One option that is available to people doing IVF is pre-implantation Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS).  CCS is pretty much the same testing they do with amniocentesis when you are already pregnant.  It tests for certain chromosome abnormalities like Down Syndrome.  Since the IVF process implants already fertilized embryos CCS can be done PRIOR to implantation.  Insurance does not cover it and its expensive.   My doctor’s office charges $4,500 per cycle (regardless of embryo count) and then $1,200 to freeze the embryos for 1 year.  Another option is to purchase a package for $7,000 which includes the test for up to 15 embryos and the freezing for 1 year.  If you are going to do IVF in individual cycles the $4,500 is the better option since there aren’t many embryos but if you are planning to “bank” embryos then the package is more cost effective.  You are not required to do the test but it is a huge decision to make.  1st you need to decided if you would ever terminate a pregnancy because of Downs or anything else.  Then you also need to decide how you will emotionally handle a miscarriage.  My research, and I say mine because I’m not a doctor or a scientist just an advid Googler, has produced the following statistics.  Approximately 60% of miscarriages are due to chromosome abnormalities.  Meaning that is nature’s way of “survival of the fittest”.   Sometimes nature and God don’t agree and embroys go on to become babies with Downs or other issues.  CCS tests the embryos and only implants the ones that are OK.  It is important to note that not all tests are 100% accurate.  There is a very small percentage of error so doctors still encourage amniocentisis when you do get pregnant.  I’ve found the statistics for Downs to be very high as a woman gets older.  At age 35 there is a 1 in 400 chance of having a Downs baby and at age 40 there is a 1 in 100 chance.   I’m 39 so the statistics are against me.  I won’t get into our whole discussion about this but it is heart wrenching to have to discuss the “what ifs”.  I’m lucky that we have an honest relationship and can discuss these things- not everyone can do this.  It was hard to admit some things even to ourselves but its best to have the discussion while you can talk about it hypothetically instead of already being emotionally involved.  We have decided, for many reasons, to do the test.  It will be worth every penny!


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