How chromosomal screening has changed fertility treatment over the last 10 years

LONE TREE, Colo. -- It’s been ten years since the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine helped to pioneer comprehensive chromosomal screening of embryos. Since then, 3,000 babies have been born to their patients.

Megan Decker hopes to join that list. The 35-year-old from Westminster came to CCRM for in vitro fertilization. She and her husband also opted for CCS, to make sure the embryos had the correct number of chromosomes before they were transferred.

"We didn't want to come this far, put my body, my mind, everything else through this journey, and not have that reassurance," Megan said.

Doctors at CCRM say this technique is particularly meaningful for older women. A 44-year-old woman has an 80 percent chance that an embryo would be abnormal.

"Most abnormal embryos never result In a pregnancy at all, but you can certainly connect the dots and suggest that would increase the risk of miscarriages as well," said Dr. Eric Surrey, the medical director at CCRM.

Plus, there are other benefits.

"Now a days, if we know that an embryo is normal, there is no reason to transfer more than one.  So the issue of multiple, multiple pregnancies that plagued our field 15 years ago, and beyond, has almost vanished," Dr. Surrey said.

Doctors recommend CCS for women who have experienced multiple miscarriages, or previous failed IVF cycles.  It’s also recommended if the woman is 38 or older, or if the man is 48 or older.

CCS adds about $6,000 to the cost of IVF.