This advanced laboratory procedure screens embryos for genetic diseases or chromosomal abnormalities prior to placing them in the uterus.
Couples utilizing preimplantation genetic diagnosis have their embryos evaluated prior to transfer and only the most genetically normal embryo(s) are selected. (For a full analysis of all the chromosomes, it is necessary to undergo CCS).
Introduced in the 1990s, PGD’s purpose was to help patients avoid passing genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs, to their child. It has been shown to be very effective for this purpose, and its indications have now expanded. For example, PGD is used as a screening test for aneuploidy, which is an error in cell division resulting in an embryo with either too many or too few chromosomes. Chromosomal abnormalities are the most common cause of miscarriage and are often a reflection of reproductive aging (otherwise known as the female “biological clock”).
Patients who believe they are candidates for PGD should schedule a separate consultation with their fertility specialist. At that consultation, detailed information (including risks and benefits) will be reviewed and their treatment strategy will be individualized based on their situation.
Since this procedure involves an embryo biopsy, which is equivalent to surgery on the embryo on a microscopic level, there is approximately a one to three percent chance that the embryo will be harmed. Having an experienced embryologist perform the biopsy minimizes this risk.
Contact us for more information about preimplantation genetic diagnosis.