Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a relatively new but developing diagnostic practice in the field of genomics. Also known as embryo screening, PGD helps in genetic testing.
Genetic testing can be done to address fertility related issues. The screening essentially reports any genetic diseases or illnesses in the patients which are likely to be inherited by their offspring.
How is a Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis performed?
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is a process that involves screening cells in the embryo and evaluating it for any possibilities of genetic anomalies or chromosomal disorders.
PGD is performed in congruence with In-vitro fertilization (IVF PGD) before the embryo transfer process takes place, and the pregnancy period begins. It includes egg retrieval and fertilization under the controlled environment of a laboratory.
- The process begins with the removal of few cells from the embryo, through a microscopic needle, and then the embryos are frozen.
- The DNA of the collected cells is then examined to determine genetic anomalies.
- Normal embryos are placed in the uterus (usually through an IVF procedure) and then a positive pregnancy test is expected from the patient.
- The process may take weeks since each medical activity is carried out individually during the entire cycle of an embryo development.
Who all are suitable for PGD?
Parents who have a gender predisposition to certain diseases or illnesses that they do not want to be passed on to their offspring should consider undergoing PGD. It is recommended by medical experts that PGD should be undertaken during all IVF cycles.
What medical experts identify through the process of PGD?
- PGD helps in detecting any unbalanced chromosomal derivatives
- Single-gene disorders, the prime reason for genetic diseases.
- Revealing the sex of the embryo before it is placed into the uterus (gives couples an option of family balancing, making more confident choices when it comes to child bearing).
- Identifying which specific embryos have normal amount of chromosomes.
- Identifying the embryos which are affected, unaffected or the carrier of a disease or illness.
The new PGD technique ensures optimization of the reproductive care for the patients. The diagnostic practice is expected to considerably reduce the probability of genetic disorders in children, thus promoting healthy pregnancies.