Womens Health

Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis

Pre-implantation diagnosis or PGD is procedure that is often offered to couples undergoing IVF (in vitro fertilization). PGD serves to screen embryos for a whole slew of genetic disorders and diseases to ensure you'll have a healthy baby. With the help of PGD, a physician can identify certain genetic defects before the embryos are transferred and way before pregnancy occurs. PGD has been around since 1988 and fertility clinics across the United States now use the procedure to the great satisfaction of their patients.

Genetic Disease

PGD may not be for everyone, but doctors will recommend the procedure in a case where one or both parents are known to be carriers of a genetic disease. The PGD procedure involves taking a cell sample from an embryo which is then screened for any genetic abnormalities. PGD is able to identify chromosomal problems so that embryos with these abnormalities are not transferred during IVF. The cell analysis can find diseases like Thalassemia, Down syndrome, hemophilia A, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, Turner syndrome, and many other conditions and diseases before they become an issue.

Fertility clinics may not offer PGD except in certain cases. Here are some of the cases that may be deemed appropriate for undergoing PGD:

*Women over 35 who have miscarried or failed to conceive with IVF

*Women who have a history of repeated pregnancy loss because of genetic disorders or who have a child with a genetic issue

*Couples who fail to become pregnant after many IVF cycles

*Couples seeking to conceive a child who will be a tissue match for an ailing sibling who might therefore achieve a cure through cell transplantation

High Risk

Couples at high risk for passing on serious inherited diseases to their children appreciate being able to obtain a diagnosis before becoming pregnant, especially since this technique is non-invasive and doesn't come with the emotional consequences that come with prenatal screening techniques. On the other hand, it's important for couples who carry genetic disorders to be given counseling about possible misdiagnoses or a possible lack of diagnosis with PGD.

What PGD does is offer the probability that a pregnancy resulting from IVF will have a successful outcome with very little chance of the baby having a genetic disease. This advanced technology helps the physician to implant only healthy, normal embryos into the uterus. Mothers who avail themselves of PGD know they have the best possible chance of giving birth to a full-term baby since they have only had embryos in tip-top chromosomal health transferred to their wombs.

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