National / Science & Health

Japan to expand study on egg test during fertility treatment aimed at detecting chromosomal abnormalities

JIJI

The Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (JSOG) has announced that it will expand the scale of clinical research on the utilization of PGT-A, or preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidies, for fertility treatment.

The type of testing examines fertilized eggs produced through in vitro fertilization to detect abnormalities in the number of chromosomes before they are placed in the uterus.

After an overseas study found that using PGT-A to select eggs without abnormalities was effective in reducing the likelihood of miscarriage, the JSOG started clinical research on a trial basis at four medical institutions on 85 women who’d had repeated miscarriages.

The society will now ease conditions for participation in the program in order to involve more patients and medical institutions in the research, it said Saturday.

PGT-A has been criticized by some as a method to select who should live.

The JSOG bans the test from being used as a general medical treatment. It currently conducts the clinical research as an exception in order to find out whether the method is effective in lowering the chances of miscarriage.

But some experts claim that using the test will have little significance as far as research goes and should be regarded as a general medical treatment.

Furthermore, there is a report stating that using PGT-A does not help increase the probability of a successful pregnancy as many women fail to secure fertilized eggs without chromosome abnormalities in the first place.