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Genetic and Viral Testing

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When it comes to your fertility, we want to make certain you have the best outcome possible. In order to provide sound advice and an excellent treatment plan, specific preconception genetic and carrier screening may be required.

A thorough diagnostic evaluation and pre-screening allows us to identify potential fertility problems or interventions prior to conception. With this information, your fertility team can best protect both you and your baby’s health.

Genetic Testing and Carrier Screening

At Inovi we are prepared to provide you and your partner with the appropriate pre-testing counseling so that you both are informed about the risks, limitations and benefits of genetic testing. As you embark on this exciting investment in your future, Inovi takes seriously all potential genetic abnormalities and attempts to keep you totally in charge of your decisions.

Indications for Prenatal testing include:

  • Advanced maternal age
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Family history of carrier or genetic malformations, deformations or chromosomal abnormalities
  • Family history of carrier of genetic diseases
  • Male infertility
  • Female infertility
  • Other abnormal conception conditions

We provide clear information before and after the test since finding a comfort level with understanding of the testing and results is our goal for you.  These are standard tests that are part of the Inovi fertility evaluation and are made available to all patients.  Your genetic tests are typically available within 4 weeks so it is important to do them early.

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What Genetic Testing is Needed Prior to Conception?

You and your partner may be considering genetic testing to determine if genetic abnormalities could occur in your baby or interfere with your ability to become pregnant. Currently the recommendation by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) for minimum testing includes:

  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA-1)

Pre-natal screening is available to determine if you or your partner could be a carrier for over 370 genetic conditions and chromosomal abnormalities such as:

  • Tay-Sachs Disease
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Spinal Muscle Atrophy
  • Alpha Thalassemia

Some of the more commonly known genetic and chromosomal diseases include:


Although rare, this disease is inherited and leads to brain and spinal cord nerve destruction in your baby affecting loss of motor skills, movement and eventual paralysis.


Sickle cell disease affects your baby’s red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body. Once born, it can experience symptoms such as anemia, constant infections and pain.


Cystic Fibrosis is inherited and passed on through your genes. It causes a sticky film like mucus that damages many organs in your body. Most commonly this condition shows up in the lungs, respiratory and digestive systems. Severity varies with the form or type of genetic variation. At Inovi, we screen for multiple types.


This genetic condition produces weakness and muscle degeneration of the skeletal system. Symptoms include loss of motor neurons controlling movement and it can worsen as age progresses.


In your fertility evaluation, blood testing will be recommended for both you and your partner. It allows your team to verify the presence or absence of known infectious diseases prior to assisted reproduction procedures that could lead to poor outcomes. Additionally, these various infectious diseases can be transmitted to your baby and negatively impact their health or your pregnancy.


Certain viruses and bacteria can be in our bodies and we may be totally unaware. In order to eliminate the transfer of serious diseases that can cause harm to your partner, reproductive ability and baby, Inovi’s viral and bacterial screening is done as part of your fertility evaluation prior to treatment.

Viral and bacterial tests performed include:

  • Testing for Rubella Titer and Vaccine
  • Varicella
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Syphilis
  • Chlamydia & Gonorrhea

How Rubella impacts your pregnancy

Rubella is more commonly known as German measles or 3-day measles. It is not typically severe in childhood, but if you contract it while pregnant it can be very dangerous to your fetus.

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Additional Information About Testing

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Untreated Rubella complications to fetus:

  • Blindness
  • Heart defects
  • Hearing loss or deficiencies
  • Mental Impairment

We recommend testing for Rubella immunity prior to pregnancy. If no immunity exists, then you will be encouraged to receive the vaccine one month prior to getting pregnant or beginning fertility treatment.


Varicella is more commonly known as Chickenpox and is caused by the Varicella zoster virus. It can wreak havoc on both mother and fetus during pregnancy. Contraction in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy could lead to severe birth defects.

If we determine you are not immune to Chickenpox, we will recommend vaccination in 2 doses, 4 weeks apart. You should wait until 30 days following your last dose to try to become pregnant.


AIDS is caused by the HIV virus. HIV can lay dormant for years and cause no symptoms in the person. From time to time, we see women who did not even know they were carrying the virus.

Getting screened early prior to pregnancy will reduce the risk of transmission to your baby or partner. Since there is a 1 in 4 chance you could transfer HIV to your child if you were unaware of the infection, it is important that you consider viral testing.

Treatment to lower the risk of infection to your baby is available, but only if you test for a positive result or inform your doctor.

Hepatitis B & C

Simple blood tests can screen for these infectious disease viruses that can be transmitted through blood, bodily fluids or childbirth. Getting screened early prior to pregnancy will reduce the risk of transmission to your baby or partner.

Hepatitis B is a virus that can be transmitted through blood or body fluids. If you have this disease, you can carry it and infect others. Our fertility evaluation includes screening for both Hepatitis B and C through a simple blood test. If you have the disease and find that you are pregnant, medication can be given at the time of childbirth so that your baby does not get the disease.

Congenital Syphilis

We screen for this to make sure that you do not pass the disease to your baby. If you may carry syphilis it is important to be tested prior to getting pregnant as, your child could develop symptoms after birth including deafness, teeth deformities and saddle nose.

Gonorrhea & Chlamydia

Often the symptoms of these two sexually transmitted diseases are not immediately seen. They can be passed on through semen fluid in unprotected sex and other sexual devices that are used frequently in an infected partner.

If you are having infertility issues, you will be tested for gonorrhea. Undetected, this sexually transmitted disease could lead to tubal problems that can make you infertile and lead to ectopic pregnancies. If you are currently pregnant and have this infection, it is easily treated with antibiotics so that you do not pass on to your newborn. At Inovi we test all patients prior to beginning an IVF cycle

With Chlamydia bacteria, it not only affects fertility but it can also wreck havoc in both the male and female genital tract. If untreated, it can cause conjunctivitis in the eye and pneumonia in a newborn. In certain cases, women who carry these bacteria may find themselves with tubal scarring that can result in infertility. Screening is done through culturing the woman’s cervical mucus or a man’s semen.