Fertility Blog

Consider Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is used as a screening method during IVF treatment. Embryos are tested for genetic and chromosomal disorders prior to being placed in a woman’s uterus. PGD helps in the discovery or confirmation of disorders when they are still in the embryonic stage.  One cell from the embryo is removed for DNA analysis. Patients should note that this process does not affect the development or health of the embryo. If an embryo is determined to be free from genetic abnormalities, then that embryo will be used during IVF treatment.

PGD testing can be particularly helpful to those with the potential for genetic abnormalities and those concerned with passing along certain conditions to their future child. Some of the more common disorders that preimplantation genetic testing can diagnose include:

  • Huntington’s disease

  • Breast and ovarian cancer

  • Cystic fibrosis

  • Sickle cell disease

  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

  • Spinal muscular atrophy

Of course, these are just the more common conditions, your fertility specialist can advise as to whether your specific concerns justify genetic testing. Individuals who have had multiple miscarriages or unsuccessful IVF cycles are also likely to benefit from PGD testing since this type of screening could reveal potential genetic issues that are the source of these issues.

Genetic testing is not perfect, but it can offer genuine peace of mind to couples and individuals who are concerned about passing a serious condition to their offspring. The main benefit of PGD is that it can be performed without risking the welfare of the embryo. If additional testing is needed for any reason, PGD can be performed once the IVF procedure is complete and a pregnancy is achieved.

If you are interested in preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or if you would simply like to learn more about the procedure and what it can offer, we advise that you speak with a fertility specialist who is experienced in PGD testing, such as the doctors at Washington Fertility Center. Contact Washington Fertility Center today.