# Changing the Conversation in IVF

I recently attended a presentation with a fertility doctor and learned a whole wealth of information including no one gives a hoot about your health and diet with regards to fertility, it’s all age.

The other topic I found fascinating was this technological medical advancement now being used in many fertility clinics, called comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS). CCS is in my opinion completely changing the field of In-vitro fertilization and assisted reproductive technology.


What is CCS?

CCS, comprehensive chromosomal screening, is done in conjunction with IVF. Doctors and researchers are now able to identify chromosomally normal embryos for transfer. With respect to a woman’s fertility the predominate factor is age. Women 35 years of age or older have increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities. By being able to scan beforehand, chromosomally normal embryos are selected thus increasing the likelihood that the embryo will implant. An estimated 70% of miscarriages in the first trimester are associated with a chromosomal abnormality in the fetus. CCS is reducing the rate of miscarriages and increasing the rate of successful embryo implantation.


How does it work?

CCS testing is done on a few cells that are biopsied from a 5-day old embryo. It’s important to note that the genetic material of that embryo will not be altered in anyway during CCS. During the time it takes to perform the actual screening the embryo is protected and preserved using a freezing method called vitrification. Embryo survival after being frozen is extremely high, around 98%.

As an added bonus, during the time that it takes to do CCS and the vitrification process, it allows a woman’s hormone levels to balance out and return to a normal state. This is important because studies have shown that transferring embryos to a uterus that has natural levels of hormones increases the likelihood of successful embryo implantation.


Who is a good CCS Candidate?

While CCS is a groundbreaking innovation in IVF, it is not recommended for all infertility patients.

Potential candidates for CCS have the following:

  • Women 35 years of age or older
  • Women that have suffered repeated miscarriages
  • Women that have had previous pregnancies involving chromosomal abnormalities
  • Women who have had multiple failed IVF cycles

For more information about CCS, research fertility clinics in your area. Happy baby-making!