Discussing Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS)
Genetic screening is at the top of the list when it comes to widely-debated and misunderstood treatment options for infertility. If you or someone you know has been presented with the option, then you know the controversy surrounding this type of screening.
You may hear one set of statistics from your doctor, a whole different set of opinions from your friends and family, and of course, there’s Google, which could lead you to more information than you know what to do with.
In the midst of all this, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.
An overview of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a screening processes designed to increase the chances of a healthy embryo implantation. It is a process that allows potential parents to avoid passing on certain genetic disorders to their offspring. The treatment screens for extra or missing copies of chromosomes, and looks for defects that may lead to genetic disorders.
As reproductive science advances, fertility scientists, embryologists, and doctors are constantly developing new techniques to help couples have healthy pregnancies and healthy kids.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis begins with the normal process of in-vitro fertilization that includes egg retrieval and fertilization in a laboratory. Over the next three to five days, the embryos will divide into multiple cells. Preimplantation genetic testing involves the screening of a day 5 embryo, also known as a blastocyst, for specific, known genetic abnormalities.
This still-evolving testing technique has helped reduce the number of debilitating genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, Huntington’s Disease, hemophilia, muscular dystrophy and many others.
Couples who are fertile, but carry a risk of passing on genetic disorders, often elect to be tested as well as couples on the other side of the spectrum, who are infertile and have struggled with recurring lost pregnancies.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis gives doctors the ability to test embryos before implantation, so that they can avoid implanting an embryo that has any kind of abnormality. This checkpoint gives mothers and fathers peace of mind in an naturally stressful and often complicated situation.
Some Common Misconceptions of Preimplantation Genetic Testing
Preimplantation genetic testing is only used to identify chromosomal variants: It is true that by looking for chromosomal abnormalities couples can identify and prepare for conditions like Down syndrome, but there is more to it than that. Many couples take advantage of preimplantation genetic screening to identify the reasoning behind their infertility. The test can provide some much needed answers for people who don’t know why their embryos aren’t implanting, or why they keep resulting in early losses.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is like “playing God”: The origin of this concept plays on each particular person’s faith and set of morals, so it is not easily debunked. The argument is that couples who are genetically predisposed to an inherited disorder can reduce the risk that their children will also be affected, essentially messing with “destiny”; however, it is important to remember that many advances in medical technology and treatments are subject to the same interpretation.
Preimplantation genetic screening allows you to create a “designer baby”: This treatment is a method of selection not creation. Individual genes are not chosen, so you can’t “order” a baby with particular cosmetic traits, athletic aptitude, or intelligence. The process merely allows a physician to select the most viable embryo for implantation.
If you are interested in a consultation please make an appointment online and any of our New Patient Coordinators will be in touch with you with any questions you may have regarding your IVF journey.
Book your appointment online at www.reproductivefertilitycenter.com/locations-contact/ or call our main office at (949) 453-8600. Dial (626) 388-6022 for Chinese 中文.