Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can be done during IVF treatment to identify embryos with genetic defects. The intention is to identify which embryos are healthiest and to avoid the use of embryos that will result in pregnancy loss. Additionally, the PGD process allows parents to avoid passing down a genetic disease. As with any medical procedure, PGD has pros and cons. Ultimately, there is no one answer about the use of PGD. It is a highly personal decision that each couple must consider.
PGD may be used during any IVF cycle. After the eggs are fertilized, they become embryos and rapidly begin increasing in the number of cells. During the early development of the embryo a single cell is removed and analyzed for genetic defects. If issues are found, that embryo is not used during the cycle.
Benefits of PGD
PGD is a way for couples, regardless of their medical histories, to address the risk of having a child with a genetic disease. Couples who have had previous failed IVF attempts, multiple miscarriages or a family history of genetic disease should carefully consider PGD. Benefits of the procedure include:
Concerns with PGD
For some, the thought of using PGD results in ethical concerns. Some people do not feel comfortable discarding embryos, even if they’re found to have genetic disease. Things to keep in mind when considering PGD include:
PGD provides a means of addressing the risk of having genetic disease. This is particularly important as genetic issues are the leading cause of pregnancy loss. If you have questions about the process and its benefits, speak with your fertility care team.
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