Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)
PGD is a modern procedure to identify chromosomal and genetic abnormalities in the embryos obtained as a result of performing the IVF cycle. It is highly efficient in identifying genetic issues in embryos before their transplantation into a womb. In our agency, we offer a PGD service by NGS method (Next Generation Sequencing), which presents a higher accuracy and precision in detecting chromosomal abnormalities as well as other genetic complications before the embryo is implanted. With this test, it possible to screen for 24 chromosomes with 99.9% precision. It is used to exclude a wide variety of conditions, including Patau syndrome, Down’s syndrome, Huntington’s disease, Edwards syndrome, BRCA, Cystic Fibrosis, Fragile X syndrome, and Myotonic dystrophy.
What is the PGD and what should you know about it?
PGD is an efficient technology for detecting if an embryo inherited any chromosomal abnormalities that known to be present or diagnosed in one or both of parents. Since this test is performed on an embryo, conceived using in vitro fertilization (IVF) prior to its implantation, it substantially decreases the risk of giving birth to a baby, suffering from a genetic condition. The embryos undergo tests for specific genetic or chromosomal disorders they may get from their parents, and only the unaffected ones are chosen for further cultivation and transfer to a woman’s uterus.
PGD is a type of Preimplantation Genetic Testing, which also involves another type of diagnostic method, which is the Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS). Please note that the indications for taking PGD are not the same as for PGS, and therefore they should not be confused. The first one takes place if the parents-to-be present a diagnosed chromosomal or genetically-caused abnormality or pose a risk of passing a genes-related pathology to their future child. The latter one is carried out to find out whether there is any possibility that an embryo presents a chromosomal disorder when the parents who faced infertility are known or presumed to be without any chromosomal or genetic issues.
Who needs PGD?
This technique is designed to help couples who may possibly transfer chromosomal abnormalities to their future baby. It gives the parents a possibility to have a healthy child of their own and therefore avoid termination of pregnancy after a genetically-caused disorder is detected with the conventional prenatal method.
This method of testing is considerably safer than elective termination; what is more, for some couples, it is a reasonable alternative to adoption, gamete donation or natural conception which is associated with the high risk of having a kid with a genetic pathology.
Since PGD significantly decreases the possible risk of giving birth to a child with a serious genetic abnormality, it is highly recommended to:
- Couples in which one or both parents are affected with a chromosomal disorder or genetically-caused disease;
- Couples who already gave birth to an affected child;
- Couples who terminated the previous pregnancy due to a diagnosis of chromosomal or genetic abnormality in a fetus through other types of prenatal diagnosis.
How do we perform the procedure?
PGD procedure is carried out in fresh embryos obtained through using IVF. Firstly, to obtain a maximum number of eggs the ovarian stimulation is performed. After the mature eggs are collected, they are fertilized using INF by intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection and placed in a special environment for 5 or 6 days to reach the stage of “blastocyst”. Then the embryo biopsy is performed to carefully collect some cells to be tested for a particular genetic condition. Since the biopsy is performed on a blastocyst, the possibility of negative effect on the embryo is minimized. Unlike ordinary IVF cycle, where the doctor selects an embryo basing solely on its morphology, carrying out the PGD, the embryologist takes into consideration both morphological and genetic characteristics. The specialist analyses the samples and selects the best healthy embryo for implantation, and other embryos are frozen and stored to ensure that there are high-quality items to be implanted if the initial procedure doesn’t result in a viable fetus. Besides detecting genetic issues, PGD test also provides the possibility to choose the sex of your future child.
In our agency you can consult an expert to find out whether you need to undergo PGD and enjoy high-quality services provided by experienced doctors and embryologists. You should note that the PGD test involves a number of time-consuming steps, and it may take up to 21 working days to obtain the result, but this amount of time is a little price to pay for parenting a healthy child.