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.
Many birth defects are the result of a chromosomal issue or a genetic disease. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. One chromosome from each pair comes from each biological parent. If an issue occurs and the chromosomes do not get paired correctly, serious birth defects can occur. Additionally, many serious conditions can be passed down genetically. Being a carrier for a particular disease can make it more likely that a person will have a child with a birth defect.
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. According to research, PGD can substantially decrease the likelihood of having a miscarriage for women older than 35 years old and an increase chance of having a live birth for women older than 37 year old.