PGD (Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis) technology improves the likelihood of a successful pregnancy and birth for two distinctly different groups of patients. Couples with infertility related to recurrent miscarriage or unsuccessful IVF cycles and couples who are at risk for passing on inherited genetic disease to their offspring.
PGD genetic diagnosis is performed as a part of an In Vitro Fertilization cycle where multiple eggs are produced, retrieved from the ovaries and fertilized with the husband’s sperm in the Embryology Laboratory. IVF is necessary to give us access to the embryo in vitro. At their earliest stage of development, one or two cells are removed from each embryo through a procedure called embryo biopsy. These cells are analyzed in the PGD Laboratory to determine which embryos are free of genetic abnormalities. This sophisticated and technologically advanced testing identifies which embryos are free of abnormalities and more able to achieve the patient’s goal of a healthy baby. PGD can screen for genetic disorders in chromosomes X, Y, 13, 18 and 21, which make up for about 85% of all major genetic conditions such as Down’s syndrome, Tay Sachs and klinefelter’s syndrome and many more.
PGD testing is also an option when patients require screening for a specific genetic disorder. When the gene that carries the genetic disorder is identified, single gene analysis can be performed in order to screen for the specific disorder. A special PGD probe can be built for this purpose as long as the specific cause of the genetic condition has been identified.
PGD genetic testing is also an option when families would like to select the gender of their baby for family balancing purposes. The embryo biopsy will not only allow us to select embryos that are free of genetic abnormalities, but will also allow us to determine the sex of the embryos. Once PGD is performed, the chance of having a baby of desired sex is very close to 100% once pregnancy is achieved. This process is also known as gender selection (sex selection) IVF.
PGD works very much like conventional IVF. The only difference is; embryos that are formed in the laboratory are subjected to a biopsy and a series of genetic tests before transferred into the uterus. Patients undergoing IVF + PGD treatment are required to provide the same information as requested in conventional IVF.