Frozen (vitrified) Egg Donation in Malaysia- Ensure fertility clinic that do IVF / ICSI with frozen donor egg is also same clinic that freeze the eggs

Frozen (vitrified) donor eggs have caught on in popularity in recent years due to the following reasons:

  • More convenient - there is no need to synchronize the timing and hormonal stimulation cycles of egg donors and recipient patients.
  • Cheaper - due to negating the travel and hotel costs associated with fresh egg donation
  • Little or no waiting time - frozen eggs are readily available
  • More certainty - the exact number of frozen donor eggs is known and guaranteed. By contrast, for fresh egg donation, the number of eggs that will be retrieved from the donor after hormonal stimulation is unknown and not guaranteed.

However, for best results, it is necessary to ensure that the fertility clinic or lab that do IVF with frozen donor eggs is also the same clinic or lab that recruited the egg donor and froze her eggs. Avoid using frozen donor eggs that are transferred from an egg bank. If possible, use the IVF lab that is affiliated with that egg bank.

This is because the thawing protocol is often specific for the freezing (vitrification) protocol that was used for the donor eggs. It is best that the lab staff (embryologist) that do IVF with frozen donor eggs is the same person that froze (vitrified) the eggs.

Problems may arise if the thawing protocol does not match the freezing (vitrification) protocol, which may reduce the survival of the newly-thawed donor eggs and compromise their developmental potential after fertilization.

Only the same IVF lab that performs both the freezing and thawing processes can ensure that the two protocols are matching and compatible.

Also beware that IVF success rates with frozen (vitrified) donor eggs are significantly lower than that with fresh donor eggs (see attached bar chart below).

Please refer to the following video podcast by Dr. John Jain, an American fertility specialist:

 

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Chingmee

Member
Has anyone had experience with frozen donor eggs? W
Currently, Ministry of Health permit import frozen donor eggs from Ovogenebank (formerly known as "First Egg Bank") in Europe. However, it is not cheap to import Chinese / Asian donor eggs from 'Ovogenebank' in Europe:

6 frozen donor eggs - 9500 euro

8 frozen donor eggs - 12600 euro
12 frozen donor eggs - 19000 euro
Transport - 3100 euro


By comparison, the price of Caucasian donor eggs from the same egg bank are as follows:

6 frozen donor eggs - 3400 euro

8 frozen donor eggs - 4500 euro
12 frozen donor eggs - 6500 euro

Transport - 3100 euro

This Egg Bank based in Europe in fact sourced their Chinese and Asian donors from another egg bank in Penang, Malaysia.
(Some of the catalog photos and donor profiles are very similar, if not identical). The irony is that this particular egg bank in Malaysia has not been officially approved by MOH for import.

This egg bank is run by Cathie Sanchez, a former nurse and yoga teacher from Australia, and goes under the name of:

www. fertilitymy .com or www. eggbankasia .com

Phone number: +60-12-579-2006
WeChat ID: EggBankAsia

In fact, upon inquiring at the Malaysian Egg Bank, they told me that it would not be possible for them to directly export frozen donor eggs to Singapore, as there is no MOH approval. So I need to go through First Egg Bank.

This Malaysian egg bank is closely-affiliated with the Island Fertility Centre in Penang. An added advantage is that they also provide fresh donor eggs to patients of Island Fertility Centre.

You may consider going there after this pandemic is over.
 
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Jessicapixel

New Member
Currently, Ministry of Health permit import frozen donor eggs from First Egg Bank in Europe. However, it is not cheap to import Chinese / Asian donor eggs from 'First Egg Bank' in Europe:

6 frozen donor eggs - 9500 euro

8 frozen donor eggs - 12600 euro
12 frozen donor eggs - 19000 euro
Transport - 3100 euro


By comparison, the price of Caucasian donor eggs from the same egg bank are as follows:

6 frozen donor eggs - 3400 euro

8 frozen donor eggs - 4500 euro
12 frozen donor eggs - 6500 euro

Transport - 3100 euro

This Egg Bank based in Europe in fact sourced their Chinese and Asian donors from another egg bank in Penang, Malaysia.
(Some of the catalog photos and donor profiles are very similar, if not identical). The irony is that this particular egg bank in Malaysia has not been officially approved by MOH for import.

This egg bank is run by Cathie Sanchez, a former nurse and yoga teacher from Australia, and goes under the name of:

www. fertilitymy .com or www. eggbankasia .com

Phone number: +60-12-579-2006
WeChat ID: EggBankAsia

In fact, upon inquiring at the Malaysian Egg Bank, they told me that it would not be possible for them to directly export frozen donor eggs to Singapore, as there is no MOH approval. So I need to go through First Egg Bank.

This Malaysian egg bank is closely-affiliated with the Island Fertility Centre in Penang. An added advantage is that they also provide fresh donor eggs to patients of Island Fertility Centre.

You may consider going there after this pandemic is over.
Thanks ChingMee.
I contacted TMC in jb and it seems that they work with agents who can source egg donors. Would like to know if anyone has experience with them. Are there any agents who work out of SG and can get Malaysian donors who are working in SG?
 

Chingmee

Member
Thanks ChingMee.
I contacted TMC in jb and it seems that they work with agents who can source egg donors. Would like to know if anyone has experience with them. Are there any agents who work out of SG and can get Malaysian donors who are working in SG?
Virtually all egg donor agencies in Malaysia are based at two locations - Greater Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Most of these are affiliated with IVF clinics in their home cities. So if you were to contact them directly, they will try their best to persuade you to use their affiliated IVF clinic. For example Heart2Art in Greater KL, run by Ms. Christine Freeman (Gautaman) is closely affiliated with KL Fertility Centre, while Egg Bank Asia in Penang, run by Ms. Catie Sanchez is closely affiliated with Island Fertility Centre.

Nevertheless, if you insist, these agencies can still bring egg donors to other locations in Malaysia and Singapore. What I understand is that Malaysian Egg Donor Agencies tend to recruit egg donors from the cities where they are based. So if you are doing egg donor IVF in Johor Bahru or Singapore, they will get donors from Greater KL or Penang to travel to JB or Singapore.

This would of course involve additional costs. A "coordinator" is needed to accompany the egg donor for IVF treatment in Singapore, and you have to pay for traveling costs, as well as a few weeks hotel stay of both the coordinator and egg donor. Moreover, there are additional costs for the services and time of the "coordinator".

There are of course numerous websites which you can use to contact freelance egg donors based in Singapore. But do beware the risks, as stated by another thread in this forum:

"At a local private fertility clinic that I consulted, a nurse hinted to me that I can secretly use a Malaysian, Thai or International egg donor agency to discreetly send an egg donor to Singapore. But payment must be kept secret. The donor and us must sign a form declaring that the donor is unpaid and donating her eggs altruistically to us.

The nurse also hinted to me that the doctor and fertility counselor may suspect or secretly know that we are using a foreign agency and paying the egg donor, but they will be willing to 'close one eye' and look the other way. After all , we will have to sign a declaration form stating that the donor is unpaid.

Additionally, the nurse also warned me against using individual freelance egg donors who offer their services online, as there is no money-back guarantee. For example, freelance egg donors may renege on their agreement after receiving some payment, and it would be difficult for me to sue her to return my money, as the payment was illegal in the first place and that I would only implicate myself in an illegal transaction if I were to commence legal proceedings. Moreover, it is rather difficult to monitor and ensure freelance egg donors regularly follow the painful and tedious procedure of hormone injections required for ovarian stimulation.

She also pointed out the advantages of using a foreign egg donor agency instead of an individual freelance donor. For example, most egg donor agencies will get a coordinator to accompany the donor on her travel to Singapore, who will ensure that she injects herself punctiliously with fertility hormones during the ovarian stimulation cycle. Many agencies will also give you a new replacement donor free-of-charge, if no eggs are retrieved, or if the donor gets sick and backs out half-way. Furthermore, the agency coordinator will also coach the egg donor to say the right things to the fertility counselor, since it is compulsory for the donor to receive counseling before the egg donation procedure.


In hindsight, I realized that all these must actually be the doctor's idea, and that he was using his nurse to relay such information to me, so as not to breach the medical professional code of conduct and ethics. All legal liability will be on us, since we have signed the form declaring that the egg donation is unpaid and altruistic. The clinic and IVF lab will be free of any legal responsibility for the secret payment, once the appropriate declaration forms have been signed by us and the donor."
 
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Chingmee

Member
Thanks ChingMee.
I contacted TMC in jb and it seems that they work with agents who can source egg donors. Would like to know if anyone has experience with them. Are there any agents who work out of SG and can get Malaysian donors who are working in SG?
Do also take note of this thread regarding egg donation in Johor:

Egg Donation in Johor Malaysia - traveling egg donors from out-of-town may not strictly follow ovarian stimulation protocol of hormone injections

Singaporean patients often choose to do IVF in Johor due to proximity and convenience.

However, in the case of egg donation, Singaporean patients must beware that most egg donors in Johor come from out-of-town or out-of-state. This is because the overwhelming majority of egg donor agencies and agents in Malaysia are based in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, and IVF clinics in Johor rely on such agencies and agents to source egg donors for their patients.

It is common practice for doctors to hand over expensive hormone medications (requiring refrigeration) directly to out-of-town donors, and expect the donor to self-inject, maybe with some supervision from the agent.

Such out-of-town egg donors may commute to the clinic for medical appointments, receive the hormone medications and then return to their hometowns where they are expected to self-inject for several days. They will then commute again to Johor for further appointments to scan their follicles, or for the final egg-retrieval surgery.

This may pose a serious problem, because such traveling egg donors from out-of-town or out-of-state may not strictly follow the stimulation protocol of hormone injections, which is absolutely crucial for IVF success. Without strict adherence to the injection protocol, the number and quality of eggs obtained from the donor will be severely compromised.

Anyone who had undergone IVF can appreciate the painful and tedious procedure of self-injections.
Without any direct supervision from the IVF clinic, the egg donor or agent may not be bothered to strictly comply with such a painful and tedious routine of self-injections. If they are extra careless, the expensive hormone medications may not be stored in the refrigerator, leading to spoilage and reduced potency.

Hence, it may be better for patients to demand and insist that the expensive hormone medications are stored at the IVF clinic, and all injections are administered and recorded by a nurse at the clinic itself.

Of course, this would oblige both the traveling egg donor and agency-coordinator accompanying the donor to stay at a hotel in Johor for several days up to 2 weeks. Moreover, the egg donor and agency-coordinator may be working at full-time jobs in their hometowns, and there may be a need to compensate them for lost income or lost leave days. All these would substantially increase costs !


Singaporean patients should ask themselves whether it would be better for them to undergo egg donation at an IVF clinic in KL or Penang, rather than get a traveling egg donor to commute to Johor? At least in KL and Penang, egg donors usually reside locally, and it is relatively convenient for them to receive regular injections at the IVF clinic itself.
 
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Chingmee

Member
Thanks ChingMee.
I contacted TMC in jb and it seems that they work with agents who can source egg donors. Would like to know if anyone has experience with them. Are there any agents who work out of SG and can get Malaysian donors who are working in SG?
Here are three tips for Singaporean patients considering egg donation in Malaysia:

(1)
Do not do highly-expensive genetic screening of IVF embryos (PGS / PGT-A).
Instead, insist on doing genetic testing of the egg donor's blood sample, which is much cheaper than PGS. Moreover, you can also use NIPT (Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing) to screen for genetic defects in your unborn child after conception, which is also much cheaper than PGS.

A blood sample contains thousands of white blood cells, from which an abundant amount of DNA genetic material can be extracted. By contrast, only a few cells and tiny amount of DNA are extracted from the embryo during PGS (biopsy procedure). This makes it technically simpler and much cheaper to do genetic screening of the Egg Donor's blood sample, as compared to genetic screening of embryos with PGS / PGT-A.

(2) Use egg donors that reside locally within the same city as the IVF clinic. Avoid using traveling egg donors from out-of-town or out-of-state, who reside far away from the IVF clinic. It is much more difficult to control and monitor the ovarian stimulation cycle of traveling egg donors from out-of-town. If possible, insist that the egg donor regularly receives hormone injections (recorded) by a nurse at the IVF clinic itself.

Singaporean patients must beware that most egg donors in Johor come from out-of-town or out-of-state. This is because the overwhelming majority of egg donor agencies and agents in Malaysia are based in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, and IVF clinics in Johor rely on such agencies and agents to source egg donors for their patients.

It is common practice for doctors to hand over expensive hormone medications (requiring refrigeration) directly to out-of-town donors, and expect the donor to self-inject, maybe with some supervision from the agent.

Such out-of-town egg donors may commute to the clinic for medical appointments, receive the hormone medications and then return to their hometowns where they are expected to self-inject for several days. They will then commute again to Johor for further appointments to scan their follicles, or for the final egg-retrieval surgery.

Anyone who had undergone IVF can appreciate the painful and tedious procedure of self-injections. Without any direct supervision from the IVF clinic, the egg donor or agent may not be bothered to strictly comply with such a painful and tedious routine of self-injections. If they are extra careless, the expensive hormone medications may not be stored in the refrigerator, leading to spoilage and reduced potency. Without strict adherence to the injection protocol, the number and quality of eggs obtained from the donor will be severely compromised.

(3) When doing IVF with frozen (vitrified) donor eggs, use the same fertility clinic or IVF lab that recruited the egg donor and freeze her eggs. Avoid using frozen donor eggs that are transferred from an egg bank. If possible, use the IVF lab that is affiliated with that egg bank. For best results, the thawing protocol must be matching and compatible with the freezing (vitrification) protocol, and only the same IVF lab that performs both the freezing and thawing processes, can ensure this. Also beware that IVF success rates with frozen donor eggs are significantly lower than with fresh donor eggs.
 
Thanks ChingMee.
I contacted TMC in jb and it seems that they work with agents who can source egg donors. Would like to know if anyone has experience with them. Are there any agents who work out of SG and can get Malaysian donors who are working in SG?
Hi ! I looking for egg donor so that when I do IVF got more high percentage . Did you manage to get the local agent contact no’s got Malaysian donor who are working in SG? Tks!
 

Jessicapixel

New Member
Hi ! I looking for egg donor so that when I do IVF got more high percentage . Did you manage to get the local agent contact no’s got Malaysian donor who are working in SG? Tks!
I called IVF bridge today and spoke to this lady called Ms Lee. She had given me a lot of information on their egg donor and IVF program. They don’t have agents in SG though, all are in MY. I must say she sounded patient and was able to put me at ease on Dr Tan’s expertise and their clinic’s reputation. But it’s all based on what she says as I have not visited the clinic nor consulted with Dr Tan. I had done 3 IVFs in Singapore with SGH and with Ann Tan without success. Egg donor seems to be the remaining option for me but it’s really a big step to take. Ms Lee told me that to do it during this period, they can arrange to apply for visa and for an ambulance to pick up from SG to a jb hospital to quarantine for 14 days and to do IVF at the clinic. The visa allows 3 month stay in MY.
 

Chingmee

Member
I called IVF bridge today and spoke to this lady called Ms Lee. She had given me a lot of information on their egg donor and IVF program. They don’t have agents in SG though, all are in MY. I must say she sounded patient and was able to put me at ease on Dr Tan’s expertise and their clinic’s reputation. But it’s all based on what she says as I have not visited the clinic nor consulted with Dr Tan. I had done 3 IVFs in Singapore with SGH and with Ann Tan without success. Egg donor seems to be the remaining option for me but it’s really a big step to take. Ms Lee told me that to do it during this period, they can arrange to apply for visa and for an ambulance to pick up from SG to a jb hospital to quarantine for 14 days and to do IVF at the clinic. The visa allows 3 month stay in MY.
Hi Jessica, did they say whether the egg donors come from out-of-town or out-of-state, from Penang or Greater KL?
 

Chingmee

Member
Thanks ChingMee.
I contacted TMC in jb and it seems that they work with agents who can source egg donors. Would like to know if anyone has experience with them. Are there any agents who work out of SG and can get Malaysian donors who are working in SG?
I believe that there are no egg donation agencies or agents in Singapore, simply because MOH bans commercial transaction of donor eggs.You can pay a foreign egg donor agency to send an egg donor to Singapore, but there are additional costs for the airfare and hotel stay of the egg donor as well as 'coordinator'. Most reputable foreign egg donor agencies will insist on having a coordinator accompany the foreign egg donor on her trip to Singapore.

The coordinator has three major duties:

(i) To ensure that the egg donor completes her egg donation cycle and does not back out half-way.

(ii) To ensure that the egg donor is punctiliously injected with fertility drugs and regularly attends medical appointments to scan her follicle growth.

(iii) To coach the egg donor to say the right things during psychological evaluation by the fertility counselor, as well as during signing of the appropriate consent forms with the clinic.


In Singapore, an egg donor must pass psychological evaluation by a certified fertility counselor before being allowed to donate.
 
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Jessicapixel

New Member
Hi Jessica, did they say whether the egg donors come from out-of-town or out-of-state, from Penang or Greater KL?
They said the donors are from all over Malaysia and would depend on the source of the agents. Ms Lee claimed that the agents are responsible for the transport of the donors and would accompany them for scans and egg retrieval.
 

Jessicapixel

New Member
I believe that there are no egg donation agencies or agents in Singapore, simply because MOH bans commercial transaction of donor eggs.You can pay a foreign egg donor agency to send an egg donor to Singapore, but there are additional costs for the airfare and hotel stay of the egg donor as well as 'coordinator'. Most reputable foreign egg donor agencies will insist on having a coordinator accompany the foreign egg donor on her trip to Singapore.

The coordinator has three major duties:

(i) To ensure that the egg donor completes her egg donation cycle and does not back out half-way.

(ii) To ensure that the egg donor is punctiliously injected with fertility drugs and regularly attends medical appointments to scan her follicle growth.

(iii) To coach the egg donor to say the right things during psychological evaluation by the fertility counselor, as well as during signing of the appropriate consent forms with the clinic.


In Singapore, an egg donor must pass psychological evaluation by a certified fertility counselor before being allowed to donate.
Would you know of a reputable egg donor agency which you would recommend?
 

Chingmee

Member
Would you know of a reputable egg donor agency which you would recommend?
From what I have read and seen on this forum, as well as SingaporeIVF support group on facebook, I believe that the best egg donation programs (best value for money) are in KL Malaysia:

1) KL Fertility Centre (affiliated with Heart2ART egg donor agency)
2) Sunfert International Fertility Centre
3) Alpha IVF (run by the famous Dato. Colin Lee)

Firstly ask yourself these questions:

1) Is it worthwhile paying for additional costs associated with the hotel stay and travel (airfare) of the egg donor and coordinator, if you want to do egg donation in Singapore or Johor? Is there good value for money?

2) Why not wait for pandemic and travel restrictions to be over, and then travel to KL for the egg donation procedure?

3) Can the agent (coordinator) be trusted to ensure that the egg donor gets regularly injected with the fertility drugs/hormones?

4) Why not use an egg donor that resides locally in KL, and she receives injection (recorded) by a nurse at the IVF clinic itself? In this case, the fertility drugs/hormones will be kept properly refrigerated within the clinic itself.


5) Is there a risk that if you hand over the fertility drugs/hormones to the egg donor or agent coordinator, these may not be kept properly refrigerated, and therefore lose their potency?

The decision is up to you. But to avoid all these logistical problems, best to do egg donation program in KL itself, where prospective egg donors are likely to reside locally within the city or it's suburbs.

Only thing about these egg donation programs in KL, the doctors and nurses there will try their best to persuade you to do embryo genetic screening with PGS (Preimplantation Genetic Screening) which is very expensive.

They will try to play on your fears on the unknown genetic heritage of the egg donor. In reality, egg donors are likely to be young and healthy. There is extremely low chance of genetic defects such as Down Syndrome.

Please don't believe their sales pitch on PGS. Instead, insist on doing genetic testing of the egg donor's blood sample, which is much cheaper than PGS. Moreover, you can also use NIPT (Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing) to screen for genetic defects in your unborn child after conception, which is also much cheaper than PGS.

A blood sample contains thousands of white blood cells, from which an abundant amount of DNA genetic material can be extracted. By contrast, only a few cells and tiny amount of DNA are extracted from the embryo during PGS (biopsy procedure). This makes it technically simpler and much cheaper to do genetic screening of the Egg Donor's blood sample, as compared to genetic screening of embryos with PGS / PGT-A.

Here is an excerpt from a newspaper article, published in Today Online:

Other claims may have less scientific basis. For example, many foreign fertility clinics strongly encourage their patients undergoing egg donation to utilise preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) to detect genetic defects in the conceived embryos, due to the unknown genetic heritage of the anonymous foreign egg donor. Yet they often neglect to tell patients that similar genetic screening of the donor’s blood sample is much cheaper than PGS.


Patients must also be aware that PGS is not a fool-proof method to detect genetic abnormalities in embryos, despite its high costs.There is a only a limited panel of common genetic diseases that PGS will detect, so it is impossible to screen and verify the entire genome of each individual embryo to be free of genetic defects. One notable example that cannot be detected by PGS is Autism Spectrum Disorders that are caused by multiple genes interacting with multiple factors within the birth environment. Additionally, if the egg donor is very young, it is unnecessary to utilise PGS to screen for Down syndrome that usually arises from genetic abnormalities in the eggs of older women.

Although many fertility clinics claim that PGS can improve the IVF success rates of older women, this only refers to older women using their own eggs, which have a high incidence of genetic abnormalities. PGS will not improve the success rates of older women using a young egg donor.

It must also be noted that PGS is not completely risk-free. There is a small chance of damaging the embryo as this delicate procedure involves drilling a hole through its protective shell (zona), to extract cells for genetic testing.
 
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Chingmee

Member
Hi ChingMee, have you done egg donor program or know of someone who does?
Hi Jessica. I am still pondering over it. I suggest that you also join the Singapore IVF Support Group on Facebook. There are a number of ladies there whom have undergone egg donation, and you can communicate with them directly though this support group.

A number of ladies there have had negative experiences with egg donation at Johor IVF clinics. As mentioned earlier, this is mainly due to most egg donors in Johor traveling from out-of-town and out-of-state, which make it difficult to control and monitor their ovarian stimulation cycles. Very often, the highly expensive fertility drugs/hormones are passed directly to the egg donor, and they are expected to self-inject for several days after returning to their hometowns, before traveling back to Johor for their next appointment.

By contrast, there are more positive experiences with egg donation programs at KL IVF clinics. Best results are obtained if there is more stringent control over the injection protocol for ovarian stimulation. For example, if egg donors reside locally not too far from the fertility clinic, the hormone injections can be directly administered and recorded by a nurse at the IVF clinic itself.

As also mentioned, beware of KL fertility clinics trying to sell the PGS (embryo genetic testing) procedure to you. This is absolutely unnecessary if you are using a young and healthy egg donor. PGS is more suitable for older women using their own eggs for IVF. Always remember that there are much cheaper options such as genetic testing of the egg donor's blood sample and NIPT (Non-invasive prenatal testing) that can be done after getting pregnant.
 
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Chingmee

Member
Would you know of a reputable egg donor agency which you would recommend?
Hi ! I looking for egg donor so that when I do IVF got more high percentage . Did you manage to get the local agent contact no’s got Malaysian donor who are working in SG? Tks!
Dear ladies, I understand that there are Singapore IVF clinics that work with egg donation programs in Malaysia.

Local doctors in Singapore are allowed to prime the patient's womb to be receptive for egg donation in Malaysia, by administering hormone treatment while the patient is still in Singapore.

This would minimize the patient's stay in Malaysia, thus cutting down hotel costs.

For example Thomson Fertility Centre (Dr. Loh Seong Feei) collaborates with KL Fertility Centre (affiliated with Heart2Art egg donor agency) in this manner.

Similarly, Alpha IVF in Singapore (Dr. Tan Heng Hao) collaborates with the Alpha IVF branch in KL in the same manner.


Nevertheless, do beware of their aggressive sales pitch and promotion of their "wonder technique" PGS , which will likely rack-up unnecessary costs for you. PGS is absolutely unnecessary if you are using a young and healthy egg donor. Always keep in mind that there are much cheaper options such as genetic testing of the egg donor's blood sample and NIPT (Non-invasive prenatal testing) that can be done after getting pregnant.
 
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