This is Infertility

There is nothing more fundamental to life than the urge to continue it. But while it may be the most natural thing in the world, childbirth is far from the easiest and no two fertility journeys are the same. For that reason, we are breaking from the typical podcast form. Each episode is hosted by a different voice who brings their own unique point of view to the complex and ever-changing world of infertility. Our hosts are licensed clinical social workers, patient care advocates, clinical psychiatrists, reproductive endocrinologists, real fertility patients, and others who are, in one way or another, experts in the world of fertility. We fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through this journey.

Episode 46: Genetic Testing: Can it be Non-Invasive?

We’ve covered the cost effectiveness of pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy, or PGT-A. In today’s episode, we are going to learn about something called non-invasive pre-implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (they don’t have an acronym for it yet because it’s still in clinical trials). We’ll hear from Dr. Mandy Katz-Jaffe, a Reproductive Geneticist and the Scientific and Genetics Director at CCRM. She’ll break down how this test could work, the advantages this could have for patients, and where they are in the process of clinical trials. Today’s host is Claire O’Neill, Patient Care Advocate at Progyny.

Guests include: Dr. Mandy Katz-Jaffe, a Reproductive Geneticist and the Scientific and Genetics Director at CCRM.

For more information, visit Progyny’s Podcast page and CCRM.

Host

Claire O’Neill, Patient Care Advocate at Progyny and certified embryology and andrology lab scientist.

Claire has spent two and a half years in a high-volume fertility clinic lab In NYC creating embryos using the method of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and have generated thousands of embryos during that time for patients struggling with infertility based on a range of different diagnoses. She has also worked on clinical research under the clinic’s Director of Andrology and Assisted Fertilization, primarily focusing on male infertility and has presented her research in international conferences in Reproductive Medicine in the United States and Europe. She has co-authored and first-authored several scientific papers published in peer reviewed journals on topics such as genetic testing of embryos, embryo development and the clinical outcomes associated, ICSI, and male fertility testing. With Claire’s clinical experience, she is now at Progyny working with patients directly. She counsels them on how best to utilize their benefits and guides them through their fertility journey.

Guests

Dr. Mandy Katz-Jaffe is the scientist director and reproductive geneticist for Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

She completed her master’s degree and Ph.D. at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. After receiving her doctorate in 2004, she moved to the U.S. to join the research and clinical teams at the National Foundation for Fertility Research and CCRM in Lone Tree, CO.

Dr. Katz-Jaffe’s research is focused on identifying genetic and other molecular processes associated with human infertility. Specifically, her focus is on the consequences of advanced reproductive age on both male and female gametes, recurrent miscarriage and repeated implantation failure. Dr. Katz-Jaffe’s laboratory has extensive research and clinical interests in comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS) of human blastocysts, which has been translated into a clinical protocol resulting in significant improvements to live birth rates following the transfer of chromosomally normal blastocysts. She also has published the first studies utilizing mass spectrometry-based platforms to investigate the human embryonic secretome.

Identifying non-invasive biomarkers of embryo competence via the embryonic secretome could further assist in embryo selection and the development of new clinical assays to improve IVF outcomes. Other areas of research currently being investigated by Dr. Katz-Jaffe’s research group include investigating the embryo-endometrial molecular dialogue during the time of implantation and determining the epigenetic profile of viable and competent embryos.