For some families with the BRCA1 gene mutation, the lifetime risk of breast cancer can be as high as 87 percent. Mutation carriers who have already been diagnosed with cancer also have a significantly increased risk of developing a second cancer. Through advances in modern science, couples are now able to prevent passing these genes down the family tree by genetically screening embryos. Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), is a cutting-edge fertility treatment technology that screens embryos for genetic disease. Genetic screening can detect the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, as well as several other genetic mutations linked to breast cancer.

For those predisposed to cancer or other genetic abnormalities-

This option allows selection of the more preferred embryos during in-vitro fertilization treatment (IVF) “The capabilities of modern science allow the children of tomorrow to avoid the genetic risks their parents face today,” says Dr. John Couvaras, Medical Director and board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist for the valley’s premier fertility center IVF PHOENIX. “Genetic testing of embryos provides the most accurate means of assessing cancer risk of ones embryos prior to implantation.” Dr. Couvaras adds that “knowing the potential risk prior to IVF can help make better, more informed decisions about your health if you carry familial or hereditary risk factors” and he encourages patients to take the simple screening. “For this group of patients, IVF PHOENIX offers a simple saliva test which identifies with a very high degree of accuracy one’s risk of carrying a genetic markers associated with breast, uterine or ovarian cancer.” The bonus is that most insurance plans will cover this cost of the testing for cancer risk assessment.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, and many women are now taking genetic tests in a preventative measure to know their cancer risk. In the past, the genetic tests were unaffordable. Now women can undergo basic genetic screening at IVF Phoenix. Genetic testing can reveal a family gene that has gone undiagnosed for years, allowing women to be extra diligent in screening and prevention. Women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and who tested positive for BRCA gene prior to a diagnosis can have a higher risk of getting ovarian cancer. The standard of care recommendations are to remove the fallopian tubes and ovaries prior to menopause, up to the age of 42, or after reproduction has ended. It is key to preserve their fertility with cryopreservation or egg freezing if she is still wanting to consider motherhood using her own eggs.

A woman who has frozen her eggs can use them to create embryos and carry a baby. Those with hormone sensitive breast cancer diagnoses can choose to have a surrogate carry the baby to assist in preventing a recurrent cancer diagnosis. IVF PHOENIX is committed to education on this topic and is hosting an special event on October 8th at the Arizona Historical Society to share the process of egg preservation. One lucky attendee will win a free Fertility Preservation cycle valued at more than $9000. To rsvp to attend simply email us at or log on to to learn more.

About IVF Phoenix

Since 1992 IVF Phoenix has been known as one of the nation’s premier IVF facilities. Helping thousands of families bring home healthy babies for over two decades, renowned infertility specialist Dr. John Couvaras leads the practice with a commitment to delivering the highest level of personalized care and is certified in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility (REI) as well as Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN). He has been an active member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine for more than 20 years.

Dr. John Couvaras is certified in CO2 and YAG laser surgery, operative laparoscopy and hysteroscopy, and microsurgical tubal and pelvic surgery. His expertise includes all aspects of female reproductive medicine and surgery. Due to the clinic’s high success rate and treatment protocols that address both male and female infertility issues, IVF Phoenix is the choice of both local families and families from across the globe. For more information visit

Media Contact or to arrange an interview with Dr John Couvaras, please contact: Claire Cooper: or by cell at 804-310-3601 For clinical questions contact Rhoda Rizkalla, Practice Administrator at 602.765.2229 or