Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
What is a PGD?
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is an invaluable resource for couples who are at risk of transmitting a genetic disease to their children. PGD performed on a couple’s embryos may help the physician and couple to determine which embryos will most likely result in a healthy, ongoing pregnancy.
PGD is used to screen for abnormal numbers of chromosomes, broken or damaged chromosomes, and other anomalies.
PGD can be used to screen for many conditions including:
- Down Syndrome
- Huntington’s disease
- Fragile X syndrome
- Cystic fibrosis
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- Sickle Cell Anemia
PGD can also be used for Family Balancing, also known as Gender Selection, in order to choose whether to have a boy or a girl.
The PGD procedure is performed before the embryos are transferred into the uterus. Using highly specialized equipment and powerful microscopes, our embryologists first take an embryo biopsy. This involves removing a single cell from an eight-celled embryo (at this point, the cells have not become specialized to particular areas of the body, and after the procedure, the embryo continues to develop normally, leaving no sign that the cell was ever removed). Next the genetic material from the embryo is analyzed in order to detect whether it carries the markers for a particular genetic condition. Those embryos that are identified as healthy, or without the genetic condition, are selected for transfer. In the case of family balancing, the genetic material is tested for the presence of X (male) and Y (chromosomes)