What is Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis?
Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a medical test done to determine whether embryos produced through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) contain any genetic or chromosomal disorders. It is necessary especially if one or both the parents have some history of genetic disorders which can be hereditary. With the help of this test, only the healthy embryos unaffected by any genetic or chromosomal disorder can be selected for transferring to the uterus. This in turn, increases the chances for having a healthy baby and removes any risk of the child inheriting any genetic disorders.
Why should one go for PGD?
PGD covers detection of mainly 3 groups of diseases –
• Sex-linked Disorders
• Single Gene Defects
• Chromosomal Disorders
Couples who are highly viable for this test are –
• Where either one or both the parents have a history of genetic defects.
• Where the conceiving mother is of advanced maternal age i.e. 35 years and above.
• Where the mother has had miscarriages in the past.
• Where the male has severe male factor infertility.
• Where either one or both the parents have a history of sex-linked or chromosomal disorders.
These people are at a high risk of producing aneuploid embryos. Therefore, it is beneficial for such couples to undergo for PGD which in turn will help in selecting the best and healthy embryos for fertilization.
How does PGD work?
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis starts during the usual process of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) which entails egg retrieval and fertilization in the laboratory. After successful retrieval of the eggs, they are grown for 5-6 days after which PGD is done on the extracted cells from these developing embryos. The DNA of these cells are then tested and evaluated for any genetic disorders. This procedure could take up to a week and after the healthy embryos free from any genetic or chromosomal disorders are determined, the selected embryos are then put in the uterus after which the woman will be ready to conceive a child. Additional healthy embryos that are free from any genetic problems are kept frozen for later use and the defective embryos are destroyed. The overall procedure of PGD usually takes weeks to perform.
What are the advantages of PGD?
Some of the best benefits of PGD are –
• PGD can help select the best embryos for fertilization that do not include any genetic problems which will ensure in conceiving a healthy child.
• The procedure helps a couple to have children who were not able to, earlier.
• PGD helps in detecting over more than 100 genetic and chromosomal defects in the embryos.
Pre-implantation Diagnosis has helped many couples across the planet to have their own children free from any genetic disorders. This can also help in identifying particular disorders or diseases which the parents may have not known about earlier and also help parents who do know about those disorders to have a healthy baby free from such disorders.