Three sisters attended IVF clinic in Sarasota, Florida over several years. They all required IVF and Pre-implantation Genetic diagnosis due to different reasons. Two have had children while the youngest is now pregnant with her first child.
Infertility affects 15% of couples. Those that require the most advanced treatments such as In vitro fertilization and embryo transfer procedures now have to decide if they should also have pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS or PGD) of their embryos. The more common indications for PGD are advanced maternal age, previous known genetic disease, previous multiple miscarriages, and previous IVF failures. The present sisters are remarkable because It is extremely rare to have so many siblings require PGD when there is no known genetic disease.
The first sister was treated in 2007. This resulted in the birth of a boy after she had failed multiple IVF treatments in other clinics. She was in her mid thirties. The second sister attended was treated in 2008 at the age of 39. This resulted in the birth of a girl. the third sister was treated in 2012. Her initial IVF/PGD treatment cycle resulted in all abnormal embryos. There was no embryo transfer. At the second treatment there were normal embryos available for transfer. She is currently pregnant. These cases emphasize the fact that all humans make chromosomaly abnormal embryos. The risk of this increases remarkably after the age of 33. This is because in humans the eggs are in a state of arrested cell division for the entire life of the person. The longer one waits to start a family, the more errors that can occur in the final maturation of the eggs. This is why pregnancy chances decrease with age, miscarriages increase with age, and the risk of conditions like Down’s syndrome also increase with age. Patients and prospective parents need to understand that waiting can be risky. Patients also must be aware that if their fertility journey takes them to IVF, that they must be counseled regarding the option of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.