Addition of Genetic Testing Helps Reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Esteban Brown Improve Odds for Conceiving a Healthy Baby

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Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) Identifies Embryos with Defective Chromosomes to Improve IVF Success Rates

Many couples experiencing infertility aren’t aware of advances in reproductive technology that can mean the difference between conception and another failed IVF cycle

Supplemental genetic testing used with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) can offer prospective parents peace of mind and the best chances for conceiving a healthy baby. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), or preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), accurately identifies chromosomal abnormalities and gene disorders in individual embryos to greatly enhance IVF success rates. Recently, Dr. Esteban Brown added this technology at Reproductive Institute of South Texas to increase the chances of helping infertile couples achieve parenthood.

“Many couples experiencing infertility aren’t aware of advances in reproductive technology that can mean the difference between conception and another failed cycle,” says Dr. Brown. “PGD used in conjunction with IVF can help us identify the most viable embryos, while minimizing the financial burden of repeated cycles. We are excited to now offer PGD to our patients.”

A fertility doctor can order a simple blood test or cheek swab prior to fertility treatment to analyze maternal and paternal DNA. If tests reveal an inheritable disease, such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease or sickle cell disease, embryologists at the Reproductive Institute’s IVF lab can employ targeted PGD to search for that chromosome in a single cell retrieved from an embryo. From the resulting chromosomal information, Dr. Brown can then choose the healthiest embryo to transfer into the uterus for conception.

PGD helps identify genetically unaffected embryos, assuring parents that they will not pass on inheritable diseases to their children. For couples that experience recurrent miscarriages or unexplained infertility, Dr. Brown may cast a wider net and recommend PGS as a screening tool to search for potential causes of infertility in the embryos themselves.

“The IVF lab is the first line of defense for anyone concerned with inheritable or chromosomal abnormalities,” says Dr. Brown. “Embryos with unbalanced chromosomes can fail to implant or result in miscarriage, birth defects or other problems, PGD can greatly reduce uncertainty for couples hoping to start or build a family.”

In some instances, PGD may also assist couples with family balancing, or sex selection of their baby. Genetic traits carried on the X or Y chromosome enable embryologists to differentiate between male and female embryos.

About the Doctor:
Esteban Ortega Brown, MD began his career by attending prestigious Stanford University, receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1979. He continued his education in medicine from 1979 to 1984 at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas where he earned his MD. Between 1984 and 1988, he completed his internship and residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas with a specialty in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Brown received sub-specialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia from 1988-1991. Doctor Brown’s specialization in fertility issues is complemented by his sensitive approach toward the unique difficulties couples face when confronting their fertility issues.


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Amy Hall
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