Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: What You Should Know*
If you’ve opted for in vitro fertilization, you should know about a technique called preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD. PGD enables us to test a cell from an an embryo for genetic defects so you can decide whether we should implant that embryo. Let’s look at the pros and cons of this procedure:
Pros of PGD or Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
Wide spectrum of detection – PGD can detect risk factors for many genetic issues, including hemophilia, fragile X syndrome, Rett syndrome, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia and chromosomal abnormalities.
Earlier detection – The fact the we can pinpoint genetic problems before the embryo is transferred back in to the uterus means you and your physician can choose embryos that will increase your chance of conceiving a healthy child. The remaining embryos that are determined to be chromosomally abnormal can be still be frozen if they are viable on day 6 in hope of a future cure for the genetic disease.
Reduced medical/financial burdens – If PGD reveals high levels of affected embryos, couples may opt for alternative options in subsequent IVF cycles, like donor eggs and sperm. Healthy unaffected donor eggs and sperm can be substituted in cases of extensive genetic illness.
Cons of PGD or Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
Chance of embryo destruction – About 20 percent of the time, an embryo can be damaged as a result of the biopsy process required for PGD. An embryo damaged by PGD biopsy will usually stop growing, not proceed to the next growth phase. Damaged embryos will not result in a viable pregnancy. While the risk for embryo damage is low, couples need to discuss this outcome with our fertility physician to make an informed decision about moving forward with PGD. In most cases the benefit of PGD out weights the risk of embryo damage.
Possibility of undetected disease – No form of testing can guarantee 100 percent accuracy, and PGD is no exception. While today’s’ newer genetic testing technology is very accurate, the literature does cite instances of missed genetic traits.
Are you still on the fence about whether you should consider PGD? Contact the fertility specialists at Dallas Fertility Center. We can give you more details, answer your questions and help you make your own conclusions about whether this procedure is right for you.
Want more information on PGD? Check out the Dallas Fertility website!
*An Advance in the Science of Genetic Testing at Dallas – Fort Worth Fertility Associates
Blastomere biopsy, also know as PGD, is no longer recommended for Preimplantation Genetic Screening at Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates because of higher rates of mosaicism and embryo damage when compared to the Day 5 trophectoderm (outer layer) biopsy of the blastocyst. We now use Day 5 trophectoderm (outer layer) biopsy for our patients needing genetic screening.