What is PGD?

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis is a relatively recent technique for identifying embryos with congenital malformations. For couples with a high chance of passing genetic defects to their offspring, PGD is done throughout the IVF process.

What is PGD, and who should consider it?

A preimplantation genetic diagnosis technique is used in tandem with an IVF cycle to improve the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy and delivery. To help choose the best embryo to achieve conception or to prevent a genetic condition for which a couple is at risk, PGD is done on cells extracted from embryos.

All IVF cycles may take PGD into account. Still, those who stand to gain the most from it are couples more likely to have chromosomal abnormalities or certain genetic illnesses. Women who have experienced several miscarriages or had a pregnancy with a chromosomal issue are included in this. Embryos with greater frequencies of chromosomal abnormalities can be produced by women over 35, and various forms of sperm abnormalities in males.

What is PGD?

Moreover, PGD can determine which embryos have a typical quantity of chromosomal material if a person has a particular rearrangement of the chromosomes. PGD can be used to determine which embryos are impacted, unaffected, or carriers for a genetic condition when there is a specific risk of having a baby affected by that disease. Then, only embryos free of the condition are placed in the uterus to try to conceive.

PGD step by step

Now, let’s see how the whole process is executed.

  1. Specific drugs must influence the ovaries artificially to release several eggs using hormones to develop embryos for genetic testing.
  2. The eggs are extracted via egg retrieval at the proper time. Once the eggs have been removed, they are examined to see whether they are developed and look to be expected.
  3. In vitro fertilization (IVF), in which the eggs and sperm are combined on a culture plate to enable fertilization, will be used for PGD.
  4. The embryologist carefully analyzes each egg the morning after sperm injection or insemination to see whether fertilization occurs.
  5. The successfully fertilized eggs are nurtured in the lab for nearly a week. During this time, the embryo develops into a blastocyst, a mass of a hundred cells. Trophectoderm biopsy, which involves removing the cells that will become the placenta, is done at this time.
  6. The cells are then examined to see if the embryo contains the anomaly that results in the genetic disorder.
  7. Eventually, only the embryos that tested negative for the genetic abnormality would be implanted into the woman’s uterus. One embryo will typically be transplanted to the uterus to reduce the likelihood of multiple births.

The woman receives a pregnancy test 12 days after the transfer. A positive pregnancy test indicates the successful implantation of an embryo.

Is it safe?

PGD does not result in a rise in birth abnormalities above those seen in the general population, according to evidence from many years of PGD tests in animals and numerous live births in humans.

Evaluation of children born after PGD throughout time hasn’t indicated that the procedure had an adverse effect on growth or neural development during the first few years of life.

What is PGD?

As most chromosomal problems are discovered before the embryos are transferred to the uterus, one can anticipate a lower number of pregnancies resulting in miscarriages in embryos when chromosomal PGD testing is conducted. The capacity of the early embryo to grow into healthy pregnancy is unaffected by the removal of a few trophectoderm cells.

Selection of embryos for transfer

A frozen embryo transfer cycle allows the transfer of embryos with both a normal test outcome and appearance. Although choosing the finest embryos for transfer can be aided by understanding embryo morphology, many embryos with substantial chromosomal problems have normal morphology.

To have a healthy pregnancy, PGD results assist in identifying the best embryos to transfer for implantation. Normal genetic test results indicate the best likelihood of a healthy pregnancy and a normal physical appearance. The IP and medical professionals collaborate to decide which embryo to place in the uterus and what to do with the other embryos.

Where to go for PGD testing?

Most IVF clinics directly connect with private or state-owned genetic laboratories with the technological capacities to run all necessary tests. Moreover, their cooperation allows for faster delivery of results.

What is PGD?

You can ask your IVF clinic if they provide such services or contact a relevant genetic center on your own.